From Gardner Russell: 1940 to 1942: Former Argentine missionaries Bryon Wheeler and Donald Brown, employees of Pan American Airways held church meetings in their home in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1948-1951: Meetings were held in the home of an Air Force family at Guajataca, Puerto Rico. attended by members from the then Ramey Air Force Base. Gardner Russell, former Argentine missionary, employed as Manager of Tim Manufacturing Company, San Juan, arrived with his wife Dorothy, and 5 months old daughter Sheryl, in San Juan in 1951, and attended these meetings.
Early 1950s: Melvin J. Rudd was called as Group Leader and began to hold meetings at Ramey Air Force Base, near Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The Russell family attended these meetings.
July 12, 1953: Reginald Dorff, soldier in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Buchanan, outside San Juan, Puerto Rico, and an ex-Argentine missionary, met with Melvin J. Rudd to discuss starting church meetings in San Juan,
August 2, 1953: The first formal meetings of the church were held in the Military chapel at Fort Buchanan. Those attending were: Reginald Dorff, Kenneth Childs, J. Hunt, Larry Tate, Rene, Ninette, Aurelia and George A. Sims, Lucille, Sandra, Linda, Barbara and Marvin Redburn, Gloria and Valerie St. John. Two weeks later, the Gardner Russell family returned from vacation in the U.S. and were notified of church meetings. Elder A. Petersen was called to be Group Leader, under the LDS Servicemen's Committee,.
1955: The first island-wide conference of was held at Ramey Air Force Base with 57 present. Branch President Niles A. Sorensen.
1963: As the island's economy grew, expatriate members arrived: Elmo Robinson with Sealand, Lynn James, with Dupont, and others. Members of the Armed Services became a minority. The San Juan, Puerto Rico branch was organized under the Southern States Mission with 139 members of record. William Fotheringham, Manager of Kodak, was called as the first branch president. Planning began to build the first chapel in the Caribbean.
1964: President Ned Winder of the Southern States Mission, organized the Caribbean District, held the second island-wide conference, and called Gardner Russell to be District President, Henry Franklin and Burke Adams, Counselors, Ural Morris Burk as District Clerk. Elders Hunter and Tolbert, Assistants to the Mission President, arrived and began to teach two-religion families, with considerable success.
July 1964, the San Juan branch sponsored a Pioneer Day parade and rodeo, as a fund-raiser for a new chapel. Convert Ilka Frau was Pioneer Day Queen. Chapel site was obtained in Jardines de Caparra, Bayamon.
1965: President Joseph Greenland of the San Juan branch, welcomed the james Dalton family. Roosevelt Roads Navy Base branch. District Conference presided by Mission President nNed Winder.
1968: Third Caribbean District Conference, presided by President J. Murray Rawson of Mission. James Dalton was president of the San Juan Branch, his counselors were Ronald Todd and Quentin Lambert. approximately 55 active families. Also present, Joseph Greenland, former San Juan branch president, and Melvin J. Rudd., former Ramey branch president.
September 7, 1968, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Jardines de Caparra meetinghouse. Dr. Carlos Lastra, Dean of Administration of the University of Puerto Rico was honored guest.
1969: District Conference was held, J. Murray Rawson presiding. Six Spanish-speaking missionaries were assigned to the island. San Juan branch president, Ronald Todd.
The Ponce branch was organized with Perry Hiram Bingham, President, and Ora Lynn Justice and Robert Chynoweth, Counselors. Their families were converted to the gospel in Ponce.
Sunday school meetings began in Caguas and Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. First live broadcast of General Conference Priesthood Session was received at the home of Gardner Russell.
November, District Conference was held in the new meetinghouse, Jardines de Caparra, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. San Juan branch conference with a number of Puerto Rican converts.
March 7, 1970: The new chapel at Jardines de Caparra, Bayamon, was dedicated by Elder Sterling W. Sill, Assistant to the Twelve Apostles. A non-member, Mr. Harvey, who served with Gardner Russell on the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Hospital in Santurce, Puerto Rico, donated $5,000 for the chapel organ. There were 450 members of record on the island, and branches in San Juan, Caguas, Ponce and Mayaguez.Some of the wonderful Puerto Rican families who were converted during this period were: Lirio Pachecho, Jose Moreno, Lucila Mombil and her daughters (Brother Mombil joined the church years later), the Irizarry and Chaves family and others.
July 1970, Gardner Russell was called as President of the Uruguay-Paraguay Mission.