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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fields of the Wood: World's Largest Ten Commandments

It should not be a surprise to anyone that here in the bible belt they take their Christianity very seriously.  One doesn't need to look far to find examples of this religious fervor.  However, there are few monuments as impressive as the Fields of the Wood.

Tucked way back in the smoky mountains of North Carolina near Murphy, NC lies the "Bible Theme Park" known as "Fields of the Wood".  The most noticeable feature of the attraction is the World's Largest Ten Commandments, literally placed across the side of a Mountain.

Just look how big this thing his, that is a normal sized person.....

The stair case up in the middle is possibly the most extreme bible related workout you will ever have in your life.

Perched at the top of the mountain in none other then the world's largest Bible.........

 But that's not all.  You can actually crawl up INSIDE the World's Largest Bible and climb to the top to get an even better view.

Disclaimer:  This is not permission to overlook the Bible
I must say, the view is spectacular.

You also get a bird's eye view of the Golgotha Rock.........

Golgotha, which translates to "Place of the Skull" was said to be were Jesus was crucified and was described as a rock formation that looked like a skull.  I must say, that their rendition is adequately chilling.

For those who did not get enough of a workout climbing the commandments, there is ANOTHER mountain directly across known as "prayer mountain".  Climbing Prayer Mountain you you will come across this.....

The Witness Tree.  Apparently, this tree was struck by lighting splitting it in half.  Supposedly, the church had hung their flag on the tree and the lighting "jumped" over the flag.  This was considered a miracle.  Works for me.

Once reaching the top of Prayer Mountain you find: Prayers......

Heading down from Prayer Mountain you get a nice view of the Commandments.....

Also of note is the baptismal pool, but they are very clear on their policy of unsanctioned baptisms....

One would also assume there are no cannonballs.......

Next to the pool is a replica of Jesus's Tomb with a real rolling rock.....

 Here is a view of the commandments from inside the tomb....

I'd also like to note that this place looks really cool on Google Earth.....

Because of its remote location the Bible Park is often near empty which gives it a unique and haunting feeling.  This was however, not always the case as this awesome vintage photo shows.

NC State Archives
So one question you may be asking yourself is "Why?"  Why is all this here in the middle of nowhere?  The answers lie inside the brochure....

Fields of the Wood is operated and maintained by The Church of God of Prophecy.  The church was founded by traveling bible salesmen Ambrose Jessup Tomlinson. 

Tomlinson was said to have climbed to the top of the mountain when he had a vision that inspired him to found the church.  Tomlinson would point to a passage in the Bible that he felt prophisized  the creation of the Fields of the Wood.

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood

Like Walt Disney, Tomlinson would never see his vision completely realized as he died 2 years before the Commandments were completed in 1945.

The original church is still a few miles from the Bible Park, where there is also this interesting "Holy Ghost" monument.

I have read that over and over and I have no idea what it means.  If someone would like to explain it to me, I'd be happy to hear from you.

The Carpetbagger

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  1. how interesting. I can't believe I haven't heard of that place. something about the "bible overlook" is really appealing to me.

    1. It truly is a sight to see if you are willing to to head out into the middle of Nowhere Appalachia.....

    2. Truly amazing to see and feel. We were a group of 10 friends, on a road trip, not faith related, pulled in to look around. We were all 10 indiviually touched and might say overwelmed with the Holy spirit right there with us.

  2. We went there about 2 years ago to see "Fields of the Wood". As I am an avid Christian, I was a little disappointed in the way the place had not been unkempt. It seems so run down. Such a beautiful witness of Christ and Biblical history not kept up. It was a bear trying to find the place. Long, curvy roads and definitely in the middle of no where. All in all though it was a blessing to see.
    Thank you for having this on your page. Some other Biblical places that would be interesting are as follows:
    The Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Museum of Biblical Art, Dallas, The Bible Museum, BibleWalk, Mansfield, Ohio, and here is three links to other Biblical places.