Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 20--May 17, 2013

          Every time I come to visit with Jeannie, we try to work in a visit to the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.  Today that was our destination.  Jeannie warned me that they had cut back on the part of the gardens and museum possibly because of the recession.  There were parts that weren't open, but it still had a lot to offer and I enjoyed the visit.

           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.   Precious Moment Park and Chapel

Until next time,


  1. I never knew that about the Precious Moments figurines. Very interesting. Glad you're having a great time.

  2. Thanks, Vickie. So far everything has been fun. Tomorrow we head north to Canada.

  3. This is fascinating. I never heard of this place. I'm going to tell my daughter, Linda, who is an avid Precious Moments figurine collector. Thanks, DJ.

  4. It is really quite a place. Unfortunately, there is so much that had to be downsized because of the economy. What we couldn't see that I always loved is an island in a creek that flows through the property. It has figurines and it is decorated for the season. They also had a wedding chapel that wasn't open.

  5. What a wonderful place! I never new it existed. Thank you for sharing. . . . I'm really interested in searching for more images of the stained glass. Our church didn't have stained glass so a dear friend painted them for the parish. It's one of my favorite things about our little country church. It says his represent children that have passed away! So sad and beautiful.

  6. Sam Butcher's own son died in a car accident. One of the most perfect paintings in the museum is a child in a bed with several other kids surrounding the bed. Hovering above the scene is the dying child along with several angels. That one always gets me.

  7. I've loved the figurines for years but never knew about the museum. Thank you for sharing this beautiful place.

  8. I sent a link to this blog to my daughter who's been collecting Precious Moments her entire life. What a fantastic place. I wonder if she'll manage a side trip next time her company sends her to St Louis!

  9. That would be a nice side trip. It is out in the middle of nowhere, but as soon as you walk to the entrance there is a magical feeling that comes over you.