The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has called David J. Pickett, 50, to serve as mission president for the Tennessee Knoxville Mission, which includes the greater Chattanooga area. He and his wife, Kristen Joell Sneddon Pickett, will succeed President Steven P. Griffin and his wife, Cherie Griffin of Utah.
President Pickett will supervise more than 150 missionaries serving across the area, and will direct missionary labors throughout the region. About 40 LDS missionaries – young men, young women and senior couples – serve in the Chattanooga area at their own expense.
The Picketts will serve for three years, also at their own expense, and have already left behind their family, friends and business – the Pickett Ranch in Idaho – to focus solely on the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is to invite everyone to come to Christ.
More than 70,000 Mormon missionaries serve worldwide across 422 missions. The LDS Church has a presence in 189 countries, and a total membership of about 16 million. As of 2015, there are over 50,000 Mormons in Tennessee, two missions, two temples (Memphis and Nashville), more than 105 congregations, and 30 family history centers.
Prior to their call, President Pickett served as a stake (congregation) president, bishop (ecclesiastical leader), bishopric counselor, ward (congregation) Young Men president, and as a missionary in the Canada Vancouver Mission. He was born in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Sister Picket served as a Young Women adviser, counselor in a stake Young Women presidency, ward Primary (young children) president, ward Relief Society (women 18 and over) and Primary presidency counselor and Gospel Doctrine teacher. She was born in Castro Valley, California.
Of their call, President and Sister Pickett said, “We are thrilled to be in Tennessee.
The only thing more beautiful than the landscape is the people. Tennesseans are kind, gracious, warm and hospitable. We are excited to serve, and we look forward to working with our missionaries in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and His holy purposes.”