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David W. Patten and Warren Parrish arrived in Tennessee shortly before October 11, 1834. They preached at a Campbellite church meeting and baptized seven converts. Another 24 were baptized later.

They organized a branch by the end of the year. These efforts were in Henry, Benton, and Humphreys counties. In 1835, Parrish worked alone after Patten returned to Kirtland, Ohio.

On March 27, 1835, Wilford Woodruff, then a priest, came to assist Parrish. When Warren Parrish was called as a Seventy in July 1835, he ordained Woodruff as an elder and placed him in charge of the work in Tennessee. Woodruff was assisted by Abraham O. Smoot and Benjamin L. Clapp.
On one occasion, they preached to 500 people at a tavern. During the next three months, Woodruff and his companion baptized 20 converts. By year's end, Woodruff had traveled 3,248 miles, baptized 43 people (three of whom were Campbellite preachers) and had three mobs rise against him.
He continued in that mission laboring mostly in Tennessee, having for companions D. W. Patten, Warren Parrish, A. O. Smoot, and others; and on May 31, 1836, he was ordained a seventy by Elders Patten and Parrish. In the fall of the same year he returned to Ohio.
In 1836, there were about 100 members in seven branches. By 1839, 12 branches existed in the state and by 1846, missionaries had preached in 26 counties.