Thomas Taylor Jr. served as the first bishop of the Malta LDS Ward, established in 1910.
Malta faithful have reason to celebrate next weekend when the Malta Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate its centennial.
Theme of the celebration will be “Families to Match the Mountains,” a pageant written by former ward member Janie Thompson, said Janis Warr, an organizer of the event.
The historical pageant will be performed at 3 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Raft River High School Auditorium. Guests will be Janie Thompson & Family and the Udy Sisters.
“The Thompson and Udy families are former members and are, or have been, professional performers,” Warr said. “We have a 65-member Centennial choir that will also be part of Saturday’s performances and a 25-member children’s choir who will join the adult choir for one number.”
Many of the Thompson family have either been or are members of the Tabernacle Choir. Janie Thompson is the former director of the Lamanite Generation and the BYU program bureau, Warr said.
Sunday Fireside will be at 6 p.m., Nov. 14, at the Malta LDS chapel.
“The fireside on Sunday evening is more spiritual in nature and will focus on the growth of the church and strength of the families who live here,” Warr said.
The Malta Ward was organized on Nov. 13, 1910, with Thomas Taylor Jr. as bishop. There were 246 members at that time. Today, there are two wards — Malta 1st and 2nd with more than 1,200 members.
“We are publishing a book that details the early settlers of the valley, beginning in 1871,” Warr said.
Those first men were cattlemen. The farmers and sheepmen arrived in the late 1890s. Those men were mostly members of the LDS church — the Mormons, Warr said.
“The book celebrates all the families of the valley, both members of the LDS church and our good friends and neighbors of other faiths,” Warr said.
The commemorative book is available for $6. Anyone can pre-order by calling Susan Holtman at 431-7607 or Warr at 645-2485.
Members of the Centennial committee are Janis Warr, chair with Mary Alice Telford, Jay Harper, Jay Cottle, Cedric Taylor, Margie Neff and Clara Beyler. The group has been planning the event since January.
The events are open to the public.
“We are inviting all members, friends, and former residents to come to our celebration,” Warr said.