On 29 November 2016, a photograph purportedly showing a partially burned Bible page was widely circulated on social media along with the claim that it had been recovered at Dollywood (performer Dolly Parton’s theme park and resort) shortly after wildfires tore through Tennessee’s Sevier County:
While many readers expressed skepticism over these claims, the Knoxville News Sentinel verified the photograph, interviewing Isaac McCord, the Dollywood employee who found the page while cleaning up debris after the fire:
Gripping his rake, he revisited a spot in Craftsman Valley he had skimmed over after his co-worker, Misty Carver, quipped, “Is that how you clean your room?” Provoked, he said he had started “really getting in the nooks and crannies” under a park bench when he caught a glimpse of a piece of paper lying in a puddle of water — soggy, seared and torn in two.
McCord, a University of Tennessee alumnus who now works as a human resources training coordinator at Dollywood, said he had no idea what the paper would read, but considering the circumstances, he was curious enough to pick it up.
McCord initially posted a photograph of the Bible page to his Facebook page on 29 November 2016. After users expressed doubt about the image, he posted a second image of his find:
McCord also transcribed the contents of the Bible page:
I just found this while helping our House and Grounds team clean different areas of Dollywood Theme Park. It was under a bench soaking wet. Talk about goosebumps….
The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be!
To you, LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
And at the bottom barely visible is:
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
While we can’t speak to the contents of this Bible page, we can confirm that the claim — that a Dollywood employee found a burned Bible page during the 2016 Tennessee wildfires — is true.