Cumorah Church of Latter Day Saints

Coffee County
Org 1907
Photography by Cynthia Jennings

This Mormon church is one of only two that were founded in rural Georgia. And while it’s empty today, it represents an interesting  chapter of Georgia’s history.

On July 21st 1879, a Mormon missionary named Joseph Standing was murdered by a mob in Whitfield County Georgia. The 24 year-old was traveling to a Latter Day Saints (LDS) Church conference in Northwest Georgia when a mob approached him near Varnell. He was shot 20 times, although no one was ever charged with the crime.

Standing became a martyr to Mormons and was buried in Salt Lake City Utah beneath a monument to him that reads: “There is no law for Mormons in Georgia.”

Unfortunately, abuse, harassment, and violence like this were somewhat commonplace during this era as Mormons faced persecution for their beliefs across the United States. But missionaries continued to travel and spread the word of the LDS Church across the South.

In June of 1899, 2 LDS Church elders arrived at the farm of Joseph Adams in Coffee County. Adams was visiting with his brother-in-law, Dan Lott, when the elders offered to preach the “restored gospel.” Adams and Lott became some of the earliest converts in this area, along with their families.

But the next year would bring excessive rains to Coffee County, destroying farmers crops. Both Adams and Lott were forced to sell their farms. They relocated closer to Douglas where they purchased adjacent land parcels. From then on, LDS Elders and missionaries would use the adjoining farms as a base to work from while preaching in the region.

As a result, the local Mormon congregation grew and in the beginning of 1907, Joseph Adams deeded 2 acres of land to the Church of Latter Day Saints to be used for a cemetery and church building. The first service would take place here in August of that year, and its final service in 1975.

 Sometime after that, the church was relocated to a nearby farm but the cemetery at the original location is still maintained.