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Gadfield Elm Chapel
Do you know where the oldest Mormon chapel in the world is?
Gadfield Elm chapel is in our two counties...
Gadfield Elm chapel was built by the United Brethren in 1836 on land that was bought for £25, and it served as a centre for the rapidly growing congregation of Mormons in the early 1840's.
Three Apostles of the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS) travelled from their headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois to the two counties to teach the local people the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the first nine months 1,800 people were converted, including almost the entire membership of a local Christian group, known as the United Brethren.
Between 1840 and 1842 a number of prominent LDS church leaders preached here including Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff, who later became the second and fourth Presidents of the church.
Most of the converts then left their homes and sailed across the Atlantic to gather in Nauvoo, and the Gadfield Elm chapel fell into ruin.
Years later, local church members bought the derelict chapel, restored it, and it was given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May 2004.
Today Gadfield Elm is the oldest Mormon chapel in the world, and is a lasting memorial to the United Brethren. It's now run mainly as a museum and visitor centre, but services are still held there occasionally.
Gadfield Elm chapel is usually staffed at the following times:
Visitors are welcome, admission is free, and you can discover the many stories of people who once lived and worshipped there before they left for a new life in North America.
You will find Gadfield Elm chapel signposted on the road between Pendock and Staunton.
last updated: 11/03/2008 at 14:48
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