Saturday, November 10, 2012

Precious Moments Chapel

After leaving St.Louis we had spent a couple of days in Farmington visiting John's family.  On Thursday we left Farmington and drove west across Missouri.  In southern Missouri is the beginning of the Ozarks and our trip Thursday took us through those rolling hills dotted with wooded acres and farmland. It was a beautiful autumn drive.  We had planned to drive straight through into Arkansas, however, the weather turned warm and we learned that in the Carthage, Missouri there are some places which we had not as yet visited.  For all of our years living in Missouri, we had not seen the Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens.
Surely everyone is familiar with those whimsical creatures created by Samuel Butcher!  His career over the years went from child evangelism to card illustrator to sculptor of the beautiful figurines we know as Precious Moments.  Samuel Butcher also constructed a chapel where he painted his Precious Moments children  into Biblical scenes of the Old and New Testament.  Pictured below is the sanctuary of the chapel.
Mr. Butcher call his large painting at the front of the chapel Hallelujah Square.  It is a heavenly scene filled with children, the only adult in the center of the picture is Jesus.  On the ceiling are painted cherubs and clouds.  The chapel has been dubbed "America's Sistine Chapel".  For John and I it is reminiscent of the Sistine, but in many ways it is so different.  Precious Moments Chapel has as its over-riding theme the innocence of children with their simple and trusting faith.  It is a message of hope and peace.  In the chapel is also a series of stained glass windows, one set has as its theme Psalm 23, the other that of the Beatitudes.
There is a lot of natural beauty surrounding the Chapel.  The Chapel Terrace overlooks Center Creek which flows serenely along the property.  While standing on the terrace we saw a natural opening into the hillside.  Near the cave on a sign were printed the words of the resurrection story:   "He is not here for he is risen as he said".  The artist, Samuel Butcher, is now in his seventies.  We were given to understand that, even though his home is located near the chapel,  he also spends some of his time in the Philippines.

No comments:

Post a Comment