The core group in the Short Creek area instead followed Charles Zitting as its leader. Johnson was chosen to lead the church in Short Creek.
The conviction was the first legal action against a member of the FLDS Church since the Short Creek raid.
In November 2003, church member David Allred purchased "as a hunting retreat" the 1,371-acre (5.55 km) Isaacs Ranch 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Eldorado, Texas, on Schleicher County Road 300 and sent 30 to 40 construction workers from Colorado City–Hildale to begin work on the property.
He was succeeded by Rulon Jeffs, who assumed the position of prophet, a title his predecessor refused to use.
In Jeffs' later years, his poor health led to his son Warren Jeffs serving as leader of the church in his stead, and upon Rulon's death in September 2002, Warren Jeffs became leader of the FLDS Church.
These followers took up residence just south of Colorado City, in Centennial Park, Arizona, calling themselves "The Work of Jesus Christ," or "The Work" for short.
Also in 2002, after Warren Jeffs assumed leadership, Winston Blackmore, who had been serving in Canada as the Bishop of Bountiful for the FLDS Church, was excommunicated by Jeffs in an apparent power struggle.Short Creek soon became a gathering place for polygamist former members of the LDS Church.In 1935, the LDS Church excommunicated the Mormon residents of Short Creek who refused to sign an oath renouncing polygamy. Barlow began to lead a group of Mormon fundamentalists who were dedicated to preserving the practice of plural marriage. Barlow, Charles Zitting, Joseph White Musser, Le Grand Wooley, and Louis A. In 1932, these leaders created the organization known as the Council of Friends, a group of seven high priests that was said to be the governing priesthood body on Earth.This led to a split within the community in Bountiful, British Columbia, with an estimated 700 FLDS members leaving the church to follow Blackmore.The FLDS Church has been led by a succession of men regarded as prophets, who are believed to have been called by God to lead. Barlow, who led the community of Short Creek until his death on December 29, 1949.After the formal abandonment of plural marriage by the LDS Church, many members around Short Creek and elsewhere continued, and even solemnized, plural marriages.