Matt and I drove to Springfield, MO a few weekends ago to go to a hardware trade show. We left Colin with his grandparents, so we were able to take our time and see a few sites along the way.
I would say Precious Moments could be considered a household name. Everyone recognizes those little children figurines. But I didn't know anything about them or the artists other than that.
The artist, Sam Butcher, built and painted a chapel on a piece of property in Carthage, MO. It's a little town a few miles outside of Joplin, and it's definitely off the beaten path. But apparently it's so well visited, that maybe now the path is quite beaten ;)
The chapel offers free tours, and of course there is a gift shop available. Butcher also has a house on the property where he stays when he's not spending his time in the Philippines.
|This is the front view of the chapel. Around the chapel is a huge garden full of Precious Moments statues.|
|This is the entrance to the chapel. There are two more doors like this just inside. All three doors, front and back, are carved with intricate designs. They are carved in wood from the Philippines, which is apparently one of the hardest woods.|
|The area that wraps around the chapel contains stained glass windows, also scriptural references. There are 30 stained glass windows throughout the whole chapel.|
The whole thing is beautiful and amazing, and it was the perfect Sunday activity as we drove back from our weekend in Springfield.
My review in short: If you ever get the chance, go see it. It's pretty awesome!