Fields of the Wood
Murphy, NC – Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, across from a mountain where God revealed a vision, lie the world’s largest set of the Ten Commandments. Other record breaking biblical monuments can be found here also along with replicas of Golgotha and Joseph’s Tomb.
At the turn of the 1900’s, Ambrose Jessup Tomlinson of Indiana came to pass out tracts to the Western North Carolina mountain people. He and a few followers decided to form a new church hoping to find the true way of Christ. Before the group met, Tomlinson hiked up a nearby mountain to pray. He came back saying that God had revealed to him what kind of church it should be. Thus, the beginnings of the Church of God of Prophecy, a church that now has more than 700,000 members in 115 countries.
Tomlinson, decided that one of the missions of his church would be to mark sacred spots because Jacob in the Old Testament had marked the spot where he received his vision of a ladder leading from earth to Heaven. Where his own church was formed was the first place he decided to mark. The church bought 210 acres of land, including the mountain were Tomlinson had gone to pray for guidance. There Tomlinson planned to create a holy place, and named it Fields of the Wood.
He wanted to begin this project by creating the world’s largest Ten Commandments with concrete letters 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide on the mountainside across from where he had prayed. Tomlinson only saw the commandments spelled out in lime on the mountainside before he died in 1943. In 1945, the Ten Commandments were completed out of white-painted concrete.
Other markers include, the world’s largest altar, a concrete structure 80 feet long erected where Tomlinson prayed, the world’s largest New Testament, an open concrete Bible 30 feet tall and 50 feet wide, and the world’s largest cross, a prone concrete structure 115 feet wide and 150 feet long, lined by the flags of the eighty-six nations in which the church can be found. A replica of Christ’s tomb was also built at the park, and an outdoor baptismal pool which is used by thousands annually.