Carthage, MO is home to Sam Butcher – creator, sculptor and painter of Precious Moments figurines, and in the Ozark countryside he built a chapel to express his thanksgiving for all the blessings in his life.
My sister has been a long-time collector of Precious Moments, so when we visited the Chapel, I took lots of pictures for her.
We walked through the gift shop,
and out to the grounds along the path to the Chapel. It was a beautiful fall day, and the trees were in full color!
We arrived at the Chapel just in time for the guided tour.
Our tour guide explained how Sam Butcher arrived in Missouri and purchased 17 acres in Carthage to build his home and Chapel. Inspired by the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Sam wanted to share his art in a similar manner.
The ceiling is covered with angels, and the front wall of the Chapel is covered by a large mural called the Hallelujah Square.
Many of the figures in the Hallelujah Square are based on real people. Sam Butcher received many letters from people sharing their stories of sadness and triumph, and Sam incorporated many of them into his paintings.
Other murals within the Chapel depict scenes from nature and stories from the Bible,
such as the story of Jesus’ birth,
and favorite stories from the Old Testament . . . like the story of Moses.
In addition to all the paintings, Sam also designed stained glass windows for the Chapel.
When our tour was finished, we walked around the outside of the Chapel, where we could see Sam’s home,
and the little playhouse he built for his grandkids.
After our visit to the Precious Moments Chapel, we headed into Carthage to look for some Route 66 sights. We passed this cute little RV on the way.
It was at the entrance to an RV Park that is run by Precious Moments. The park looked nice (or at least like it would be nice when it was fully open), but right now it was just home to a few long-term residents that looked a little shady. Maybe it’s better in the summer . . .
We drove on a short stretch of Route 66, but didn’t stop to get any pictures . . . not even of Whee Bridge (photo from You Tube)
. . . maybe we’ll have better luck in Joplin.