Precious Moments are the little kids the teardrop eyes that was a big hit back in the 1970's. My daughter Tiffany started a collection when she was young, and I always tried to pick her up one when I was here.
Samuel John Butcher is the creator of the Precious Moments art, and the Chapel, museum and gardens were built by him. Born in Jackson, Michigan on January 1, 1939, he was the third of five children who grew up in a very poor family. The family moved to Northern California when Sam was quite young, settling in rural Redding.
Most of Sam's childhood days were spent drawing and sketching. With his mother’s encouragement, he pursued formal art training following his high school graduation. He won a scholarship to the College of Arts & Crafts in Berkeley.
Sam Butcher’s Precious Moments artwork was introduced to the public in 1975 on inspirational greeting cards and posters. In 1978 the first Precious Moments figurines were unveiled. The success of the figurines was amazing, but Sam never lost touch with his original purpose to create art which combined his heartfelt emotions with his abiding faith. In his heart was a desire to honor the Lord by building the Precious Moments Chapel. And, so the Chapel was built. Since its initial completion in 1989, millions of visitors have come to admire his work and share his faith.
Inside the Chapel, you will find 9,000 square feet of inspired art. Also, 84 Biblical hand painted murals. The beautiful inner Chapel has a mural at the front with Precious Moments characters representing real children who have passed away. There are stain-glass windows on each side. One side represents stories from the Old Testament, and the other side from the New Testament.
I have visited the Chapel and gardens several times, and I always feel overwhelmed with the serenity that surrounds the place. There are Precious Moments statues throughout the gardens.
Large display in entrance
Jeannie at the Angel Fountain
One of the most touching scenes is viewed from the end of a stone bridge. You look back into a wooded area where an angel sits in front of an empty tomb. It is called the Resurrection Cave. The sign says something like “He isn’t here.”
Another bigger-than-life statue in the entrance
If you'd like to read more, check out their web site. Be sure to look on the left side for ABOUT US.
Until next time,