Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Frostburg Ark

If not for a couple of intervening houses of little curiosity value, the back deck of our new house would afford a fine view of the Noah's Ark replica under construction in Frostburg, Md., for the past 30 years.

The Frostburg Ark is the work of God's Ark of Safety Ministry. Its pastor, the Rev. Richard Greene, says God came to him in a series of visions in 1974 and told him to build his congregation's new church as a replica of Noah's Ark. The work has proceeded off and on, funding permitting, since groundbreaking on Easter Sunday 1976.

The plan calls for a structure 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. The steel structure of the front third has been completed, and when you walk around the base of it, you can see the foundations for the other two-thirds have been laid.

The photo above looks westward toward the front of the Ark -- the prow, I should say -- which points toward Morgantown. The photo below, the view from down the hill, gives an idea of the size of the structure. Remember that this is only the front third.

The ministry's extensive website explains that this Ark is designed as a permanent steel structure, not as a floating watercraft, because God promised in Genesis, Chapter 9, not to destroy the Earth by flood again. "We are not building this Ark because of another flood," the website says, "but as a sign to the world of God's love and Jesus' soon return!"

Along the continuum of roadside edifices erected by Christians to get non-Christians' attention, the Frostburg Ark may not rank with Chartres Cathedral, but I'm charmed by it anyway.

The Ark is easily visible from I-68, between exits 33 and 34. To examine it up close and safely, take Exit 34 onto Highway 36 northbound (toward Frostburg) and make an immediate left onto Cherry Lane.

No comments: