Weird Missouri: Precious Moments

The Chapel at Precious Moments is just as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel. I have been to both. Obviously Precious Moments was painted in a more modern style, but they are on the same level. Amazing Place!

No. I did not make this up.

I’ve seen many things during my travels but the Precious Moments gift store and attached Chapel take the cake for being the strangest, creepiest place I’ve ever been to.

A strange child of the Bible and Naka Kon anime convention, Precious Moments reliably brings busloads of people to Carthage, MO. Some people come to satisfy their morbid curiosity, others are caught up in collecting the souvenirs and ornaments, yet others come to pay their respects to the cartoon Jesus. I have it on good authority that the real Christians think of the Precious Moments as a cult and don’t like to talk about it.

Getting to the chapel is impossible without passing by several gift shops…

…and a wheelchair grotto.

Speakers are placed around the alley leading to the chapel. I was surprised to recognize the Gettysburg Address being pumped through the PA system.

Outside, the headstone for the creator of the chapel is waiting for him to die.

From that point there is a nice view of what I think is his residence.

Inside, most of the walls are painted with cartoons.

Religious cartoons are also displayed in the stained glass windows and doors.

The main room is painted chest to ceiling.

Oh, look, cartoon black children.

Hats could mean Jews or baby popes.

In the back of the chapel an old woman was weeping in a religious moment, proving that people getting wiser with age is just an urban legend. And then I finally understood what made this place feel so creepy. It wasn’t the weird doe-eyed baby angels, or strange letters framed on the walls thanking the creator of the chapel for changing someone’s life. It wasn’t the morbid books where people left the names of their deceased relatives, or heartfelt messages to the cartoon angels. It was that the fact that people were having religious experiences in what looked liked a Mickey Mouse-less version of the Disney World.

Just like in the real Bible, the cartoon Jesus has risen to his tiny Japanese-inspired heaven. You can pray to him, but at about 1/4 scale of your regular prayer, for he is small and cries easily.