8 Mission to Newbury, Berkshire

                                William Warner Major

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Jill C. Major, Author

Mission to Newbury, Berkshire County

The Kimball/Marsden History recorded that "Elder Major was...ordained an Elder, and sent on a mission to preach the Gospel in Reading, and throughout Berkshire, and was successful in bringing many persons into the Church."1 Newbury is about 62 miles west of London. The Newbury Branch Records demonstrate the success of Major in his missionary work. He baptized 21 people in February, March, and April 1843.2

On Sunday, June 4, a General Conference was held. Major represented the London Conference which consisted of the West End, East End Clerkenwell, Newbury, and Woolwich: 299 members.3

He continued his efforts in the mission field. A branch was established in Newbury on June 27, 1843 and Major baptized three more people in July and August. On September 4, 1843, only one year and five months after he was baptized, William Warner Major "commenced to preside over the council meetings" of the London Conference.4  He continued his missionary work, baptizing an additional 12 investigators. This brought his total baptisms to 42 people by the end of December 1843. 5

A conference was held in London in the Temperance Hall on Tottenham Court Road. On the first day of this conference, December 3, William Major was ordained a High Priest by Reuben Hadlock and Thomas Ward. Elder Reuben Hadlock, the President of the European Mission, wrote President Joseph Smith a detailed letter about this conference. By then the London Mission had been divided into two branches. Hadlock reported that "The Western Branch of the Church was represented by Wm Major..."6

While William continued to perform the demanding duties, he and Sarah prepared to leave their homeland, family, and friends.