When I was 19(back in 2000) I worked at a Hallmark store in Houston. The Precious Moments figurines were by far our most popular at the time. I always thought they were cute but was never a collector myself.
I had no idea there was a grandiose Precious Moments chapel in Carthage, Missouri until we got here and started researching things to do.
We are not huge Precious Moments fans ourselves but the artwork was gorgeous and we can respect the hard work the artist Samuel J. Butcher put into creating it.
The visitor center, park, and chapel are all free to visit. There is also a cafe and a gift shop on the grounds. They have free tours hourly but we just did a self guided tour.
|The fountain in front of the entrance to the visitor center|
|The visitor center looks like a little village inside. You can get to the gift shop and cafe from here.|
|The statues and grounds were beautiful|
|The walkway to the chapel|
|The chapel opened in 1989|
|There are 84 intricate hand painted murals on the walls|
|It took 4 years to complete the paintings|
So what is Samuel Butcher doing now you ask? Why living in the Phillipines and making sumo wrestler art. This cracked us up. He also has a restaurant and gift shop there.
If you are ever in or driving through Carthage I think it's definitely worth a visit.