Maricopa Stake News
The Maricopa Stake News began publication in Phoenix, Arizona on January 16, 1936. The masthead’s slogan, “Official Organ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Maricopa Stake,” illustrates the newspaper’s direct religious affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Editor and Publisher was Robert Donlan. Maricopa Stake President, James Robert “J.R.” Price, served as Contributing Editor, and frequently penned a column that appeared on the front page of the weekly paper.
In the hierarchy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the stake is an intermediate level organizational unit, typically composed of a group of congregations, or wards. The Maricopa Stake News covered church wards in Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, Glendale and other communities throughout Maricopa County.
Religion has long been a backbone for communities in Arizona. In 1877, Church colonists arrived in central Arizona forming the community of Lehi. One year later, in 1878, Mesa, Arizona was founded. These central Arizona settlements would become part of the Maricopa Stake. The Maricopa Stake was founded in 1882 and is the oldest continually active stake in Arizona.
The first issue of the Maricopa Stake News included an editorial which stated, “In launching this paper it is our desire to bring you the news of your friends and their activities throughout the Stake. We feel that if through this publication, a feeling of good will and close fellowship can be engendered among the scattered wards in Maricopa Stake, our goal will have been realized.” The first issue also included “The President’s Message,” which laid out fourteen goals for the newspaper. Among these goals was to publish births, deaths, baptisms, and missionaries from the Stake, as well as all Stake conferences and conventions, and every change in Stake leadership. In short, said Price, the newspaper would become a place to make important announcements and, “ keep us better informed on the happenings in our Stake and in the Church generally.”
Maricopa Stake News featured advertisements from local businesses along with secular reporting and the regular columns, “Temple Notes” and “Stake Genealogical News.” An Historical Issue in commemoration of the 89th anniversary of the Mormon entry into Salt Lake Valley was printed on July 23, 1936. In 1937, the Maricopa Stake News published a Directory of the Membership of Maricopa Stake.
On January 21, 1937, just one-year after it began, a notice was published announcing that the Maricopa Stake News was suspending publication.
As Maricopa County grew, many stakes were formed within the original Maricopa Stake boundaries. The first division of the Maricopa Stake took place in 1938, not long after the newspaper ceased, when the Phoenix Stake was created.
The short-lived Maricopa Stake News was the only Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints religiously-affiliated newspaper published in Maricopa County during the 1930’s. According to church records, in 1930, Church membership across Arizona was 18,732.Dates of Publication1936-1937Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationPhoenix, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.