Okay, so this week's "church of the week" here on the Desperate Pastor blog is not a church, it's a chapel. And not only that, it may be one of the worst examples of Christian merchandising on the planet. But it does have a certain (if excessively saccharine) charm to it.
It's the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri. Back in 1994, the lovely Robin and I took the kids (and their Grandma Wright) to Branson, Missouri, and on the way there or on the way back (I can't remember which), we stopped at the Mecca for all things Precious Moments. And this chapel is a part of the complex.
Precious Moments artist and creator, Samuel J. Butcher, designed and constructed the Precious Moments Chapel in 1989, and if you can get past the cute factor, it really is impressive, beginning with the door to the chapel, above.
The chapel is lined with dozens of murals-–all hand-painted by Sam himself--from the story of creation to the promise of the resurrection. The art on the east side depicts Old Testament stories; New Testament stories are shown on the west side. All of the murals combine to cover nearly 5,000 square feet.
On the east wall is a portrayal of heaven (that's me in the right hand corner). And flanking the chapel is a long corridor of meticulously colored stained-glass windows--all in Precious Moments motif, of course.
The Precious Moments Chapel is open year round with the exception of Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.