In the beginning God said ďLet there be A Light In The World MuseumĒ and there was, a free museum along interstate 81 that told the story from creation to Jesusí resurrection bringing the thousands of unsaved that walked through the ďbiblical experienceĒ to the knowledge and acceptance of the great love manifested in the life of Jesus Christ.
And, God saw that it was good.
It is a big vision for a little church, but with God all things are possible. God only requires willingness and that is what he has found here. I am proud of the volunteer group that has accepted this vision. None of us have ever built a museum before and many have taken on tasks outside their comfort zones, but one step at a time and we will get to our goal.
And, that goal is: opening day of the free museum that my dad, Pastor Claude D. Nelson, foresaw years ago. Dad could envision how a wax museum could bring Jesusí life in 3D and into the face of the people. When he mentioned his idea many wrote it off as too odd, too tacky, or had too little interest, but it was a desire that stayed in his heart.
Shortly after he passed away in May 2003 I felt this vision or mission laid upon my shoulders. I felt like Dad himself passed it on to me. To be honest, I hadnít taken my Dadís desire for this museum too seriously in the past. He always wanted to use every means possible to spread the gospel Ė conventional or otherwise, and this was just another. I did however include it in my list of things that I would do if I ever won the lottery. I didnít win the lottery, but Iíve accepted the task of building this museum anyway.
It was during that summer that in the midst of mourning for my Dad that I cried on my husbandís shoulder. Trying to explain my tears I talked of my grief, my concern for my mother, that we had to move back to West Virginia, that I had to build my Dadís museum, then I cried harder, and I donít know how to build a museum! As you can imagine my husband was confused, but he moved with me and in time a group from the Martinsburg Family Worship Center was formed to bring this museum into reality.
The vision of the museum has grown and will not be a passive walk by biblical scenes, but will surround, engulf, and immerse the visitor in a full biblical experience. Yes, mannequins will be used along with video, voice over, animated figures, full sets, lighting, and every other technological advancement to create a full developed environment for each exhibit.
In this column I will write of the museumís vision and I look forward to sharing the progress.
Read more articles by Claudette Dofflemyer or search for articles on the same topic or others.