HIGH WIND LIFTS ORMA CHURCH DURING FUNERAL - "A Spiritual Experience," Knotts Church On Last Leg


Old Orma church on last legs

By Bob Weaver

During the 1961 funeral of 92-year-old Thomas Jefferson Newell, the builder of the Knotts Baptist Church at Orma, a high wind came across the knoll and lifted the church from its foundation, the church quickly grounding itself off-kilter on the foundation stones.

Some in the congregation viewed the event as a spiritual experience.

The 1926 church is on its last legs, with parts of its historic cemetery unkempt. The church was built following a split in the Baptist church congregation in Arnoldsburg.

Part of historical cemetery returning to
nature (left), front view of structure which
stands on hill above West Fork of Little Kanawha

Residing in the cemetery, soldiers from the Revolutionary War. the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War.

The most historical Calhoun figure reposing there is Peter McCune (1748-1832), who was connected to Daniel Boone and Adam O'Brien.

Assisting Thomas Jefferson Newell in building the structure was his son, well-known Calhouner Gerald Newell, who lived to be 103.

The land for the church was donated by Earl Knotts, who is buried in the cemetery with many of the historic Knotts family members.