Sunday, 29th July 2012
Precious Moment's Chapel is the main attraction showcasing the marvelous work of art of Sam Butcher. From afar, I first noticed the front entrance carved doors. As we moved towards the chapel, I appreciated on how intricate and detailed the door was. I learned that these doors were made of Nara wood, one of the hardest woods in the world to carve. It was carved in Iloilo, Philippines by Sam Butcher and his apprentice Nelson Lete. The project also includes another carved doors that can be found at the entrance of the sanctuary. Sam first applied his design on mini tablets then later Nelson converted the design into the wood. They completed a total of 6 sides of carved doors which took more than a year to complete.
At the facade of the Chapel, found two bronze plates is about the Old and New Testament. The plate measures nine foot tall located at the east and west walls of the Chapel entrance. Each plate was first sculpted using a hundred kilos of beeswax and a hundred kilos of clay. Then, it was shipped to Lubbock, Texas where the bronze was shaped.
As I entered the Chapel, it was so amazing to see the works of art everywhere! It was a huge indication how skilled and talented is Sam Butcher. From the ceiling to the side walls, the back wall as well as the front of the Chapel sanctuary, full of Sam's magnificent artworks.
Will start with the paintings on the ceiling where Sam was inspired by Michaelangelo's creation in the Sistine Chapel. Painting the Chapel ceiling was his first project and it wasn't an easy job for the artist. It took over 500 hours for him to work on over 30-feet high scaffolding, most of the time lying on his back. He found himself working on ceiling alone and exhausted and thinking of giving up in more than one instances.
In fact, he came to a point when he put aside his brushes, walked away and wanted to quit. Instead of giving up, he prayed asking the Lord for more strength to move on. God answered his prayer and immediately he proceeded back to work. This was Sam's most challenging Chapel project but this 1,400 square foot project has been getting awed and considered the most favorite artwork of the visitors.
Aside from paintings, Sam also created the stained glass windows. There are 30 stained glass windows in the Chapel and he designed each of them. In the Chapel foyer, I saw the two individual stained glass windows. The east window expresses the day Jesus was born where a shepherd discovered the good news and ran in a hurry to glorify Him. While the west window tells the sad story when Jesus was crucified and the little ones felt the sorrow seeing the Savior on the cross. Another set of stained glass windows created are the set of angels that represents the nationalities of the four corners of the world. I also liked the 7 windows that express the Psalm 23rd verses.
On the back wall of the Chapel sanctuary, I witnessed the seven beautiful murals that tell the story of how the world was created. Each wall painting represents each day of the seven days of creation based on the Book of Genesis.
On the same area, at the balcony are the Sam's tribute to the artists of the Bible. He found these 3 men involved in narrating stories through music, painting and writing. Starting from the left: David - The Ministry of Music, Bezalel - The Ministry of Painting and lastly Paul - The Ministry of Writing.
The east wall of the Chapel Sanctuary tells the story in the Old Testament. Seven circular paintings are showing the story of Noah and the Ark. Adam and Eve, Balaam The Prophet and Donkey, Deborah, David The Shepherd, Daniel in Lion's Den, and Jonah and The Whale. On the same wall, Sam values the heroes from the Old Testament.
He also added the four aspects of the Christian Walk in oval frames.
On the opposite side (the west wall) of the Chapel, I've seen the Life of Christ showed in circular murals. It started with The Nativity, Three Wise Men, Flight to Egypt, Jesus and Joseph in the Carpentry Shop, Boy Jesus, age 12, The Crufixation and lastly the Resurrection. Beneath these circular shaped paintings are the rectangular panels that show some of the parables of Jesus.
I also found in the New Testament wall, the four seasons on Grandpa's Island in oval murals. There's actually a real island situated on Center Creek that can be found behind the Chapel. A castle purposely built for Sam's grandchildren.
My next article will be talking about the front wall of the Chapel sanctuary which is the Hallelujah Square. You may find the link in the related stories section of this page.