President Wilford Woodruff was called to the apostleship and to serve a mission in Great Britain in Doctrine and Covenants 118. He arrived in England in Jan. 11, 1840, and soon after, at a region in England known as the Potteries on Jan. 18.
Less than two months later, Elder Woodruff arrived at the home of John and Jane Benbow in Herefordshire. He soon baptized the Benbows and many others in their religious group known as the United Brethren. He travelled in that region baptizing many souls into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of those regional sites is the hill known as Herefordshire Beacon on a number of occasions.
He also served in the nearby town of Ledbury. Using a local church in Ledbury as a preaching venue, Elder Woodruff converted a significant percentage of the congregation after a single sermon.Comment on this story
He likewise labored in the villages of Redmarley D’Abitot and Hawcross. It was at Hawcross that he had to baptize after dark because of persecution. On one occasion, bystanders threw stones at him as he tried to baptize. One stone hit him in the head and knocked him over.
Near the end of his mission, Elder Woodruff attended a conference at the Gadfield Elm chapel. In 1994, this historic but dilapidated structure was purchased by local church members who restored it. In 2004, British Saints gave the deed to the chapel to then-President Gordon B. Hinckley, who planted a tree on the site and dedicated the building.