Some three miles southeast of Douglas, overlooking a cypress pond on the Orson Adams Farm, the oldest standing Mormon-affiliated structure in the state of Georgia stands in defiance of time and nature. Its name is Cumorah, honoring the birthplace of the Latter-day Saints faith, and its story is that of 'a peculiar people' with many familiar faces in Coffee County, Georgia.
Soaked with sweat and travel-weary from the day’s canvassing, Elders Charles L. Foote and George L. Tate met with Mormonism's movers and shakers in Coffee County, Georgia. Under the roof of Joseph Adams, and in the company of men like Daniel P. Lott, William Mills, and other prominent converts to the Latter-day Saints, the meeting eventually came to focus on the need for a house of worship north of the Satilla River, the chapel at Little Utah having been built on the south bank a few years earlier. Before the close of discussion, a plan was agreed upon for the building of a chapel nearby, on land given to the Church by Adams, made with Lott's lumber, which would be hauled to the site by Mills and his sons.
Almost as an afterthought, Elder Tate offered his recommendation that the church should be given a special name, instead of using its geographical location as an official name, as was standard. His suggestion was Cumorah, after the location of the Prophet Joseph Smith's discovery of the golden plates, with which he would divinely dictate the contents of The Book of Mormon. The name was adopted, and has been associated with the little chapel ever since.
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A complete history of Cumorah Church is forthcoming,
and will be available on this page very soon.
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Although the old meetinghouse was long ago removed, the original site of Cumorah Church will always be recognizable by the cemetery which bears its name.
Though the first burial was not interred until 1908, the acre of land under Cumorah Cemetery was carved from the Joseph Adams Farm and donated to the Church in July of 1907.
For burial lists and biographical information,
see the Cumorah Cemetery page at Find A Grave.
STORIES: Articles, Blogs, Etc.
GEORGIA MORMON HISTORY is a Blog and Facebook page created by historian and SRS co-founder, Joah Fussell, and a fantastic resource for learning about the LDS Church's past and present in the Peach Sate.
“Through a Glass, Darkly, The Changing Past of Coffee County.”
An excellent history of Coffee County (Georgia) by historian and SRS co-founder, Dr. Jonathan D. Hepworth.
In the third chapter, he included a section on Cumorah Church, and Mormonism in Coffee County (pp. 85-94).
"Cumorah Church, 1907, Coffee County."
Brian Brown, creator of Vanishing South Georgia, added this article to the site in 2013, and has updated it several times to include new information, making it an impressively thorough source of information on Cumorah Church and Mormon history in Coffee County. Among other commentary included, Brown relays an oral history of Cumorah Church by John ("Son") Adams, transcribed by his grandson, Donald Orson Adams, Sr., entitled "History of the Douglas Branch -- Cumorah Church."
BELOW: "There is No Law in Georgia for Mormons."
Georgia Backroads, in their June 2018 issue, published this article by Randall Davis, photographer for Historic Rural Churches of Georgia (HRCGA). The article deals with the early struggles faced by Mormon missionaries in Georgia, and some of the history of Cumorah Church.
MAPS & GEOGRAPHICAL RESOURCES
S.R.S. ONLINE Maps
Click Here to view a Google Map with locations significant to the story of the Latter-day Saints along the Upper Forks of the Satilla River.
This map is periodically edited and updated.
Suggestions and/or Questions welcomed.