by Terri Stanley
Men, women, and children of all ages and religious persuasions walked around an enclosed 150′ x 75′ courtyard set up at Lawnwood Stadium in Fort Pierce, Florida, while waiting to enter the replica of a sanctuary built by Moses in 1400 B.C. Inside the canvass walls, each sanctuary symbol was brought to life through interpreters at five stations regarding: basic structure, courtyard, holy place, most holy place, and description of a priest’s garment.
The Fort Pierce Church prayer ministry team envisioned Messiah’s Mansion, as the sanctuary is called, coming to St. Lucie County after viewing it at General Conference 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. Members of this ministry visited 26 churches of various denominations in the area. They rallied God’s people together for the common cause of sharing Jesus with those who do not know about His love and message of salvation as seen through the sanctuary. Five Adventist churches joined the effort: Fort Pierce Church; Victory Church, Port St. Lucie; Macedonia Church, Fort Pierce; Port St. Lucie Church; and Vero Beach Church.
More than 4,000 people visited Messiah’s Mansion. At the end of the nine-day exhibit, 1,138 people requested Bible studies. “We were all amazed as we witnessed the Spirit touch our neighbors’ hearts as they saw Jesus and His salvation in the symbols of the sanctuary,” says Phyllis McColister, project coordinator and Fort Pierce Church prayer ministries leader.
Students from the University of Florida, Gainesville, also benefitted from the Fort Pierce visit as they were granted permission for the sanctuary to appear on campus prior to its stop in St. Lucie County. Messiah’s Mansion, with its 15-foot walls, presented a commanding appearance on the north lawn of the university’s Reitz Union Building.
“The religious museum allowed students to experience what life was like during biblical times,” says Thomson Paris, vice president of Baby Isaac, the Adventist presence on the Gainesville campus. It also provided a vehicle to introduce this Adventist ministry to students, staff, and guests of the university.
Messiah’s Mansion has toured the United States and several countries following its creation in 2003 at Oklahoma Academy, Harrah, Oklahoma. Since then, the sanctuary has traveled to 80 sites and viewed by more than 230,000 people. Learn more about the traveling sanctuary at http://www.messiahsmansion.com/