Mid-Missouri Mormons celebrate religious freedom with walk, run

Jul 4, 2012

Columbia’s Mormon congregations celebrated religious freedom this morning and marked an event from the church’s history. 

The sounds of patriotism rang out across the Twin Lakes Recreation Area in in preparation for a walk and run in honor of Parley P. Pratt. He was a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints back in the 1830s, when the church faced persecution in Missouri. He and some other leaders had been imprisoned on false charges.

"Parley P. pratt was a fighter, and he fought for freedom," said Newell Kitchen, the event coordinator. "And during the time they were incarcerated, he felt like he was going to go into the courtroom and he was going to prove — he was quite an orator — and he was going to prove his innocence.”

But after months of trying to get a fair trial and not receiving one, Pratt and the other leaders made their escape. On July 4, 1839, they fled from the Boone County Jail and eventually made it to Illinois.

As serious as the history is, however, the event was light-hearted.

This story was produced in partnership with ColumbiaFAVS, KBIA's newest media partner.