God told Noah to build an ark, and God told Horace to build a tree house. That’s pretty much how this story goes.
In the 1990s, Tennessee landscaper Horace Burgess discovered a tall mass of trees near the road, and decided he wanted to turn into the world’s largest tree house. After years of working on his epic project, just as he was running out of steam, he became a Christian and then later a pastor.
Compelled, he says, by the Spirit of God, Burgess finally finished his project in 2004. And, to put it lightly, it’s pretty divine.
The tree house in Crossville, Tenn., reaches 100 feet into the air, sprawls across seven trees, and encompasses an approximate total of 10,000 square feet. It features dozens of levels and rooms, secret passageways and activity centers (including a four-story swing set).
And yet, perhaps its most unique feature is that it’s a “house for God.”
With his spiritual experience, Burgess wanted to honor God with his endeavor. The tree house includes a chapel, a belfry, and a plethora of additional images and structures built to evoke Christian themes. One of these is a balcony where visitors can see a garden with the name “Jesus” written in it. Burgess tells Roadside America that “when you see Jesus in the garden, the preacher don't have to preach.”
A post today on the art and design blog Colossal, showcaes images of the tower known as The Minister’s Treehouse, which craftsman Burgess claims is “only started, really.”
Joshua Witchger is an online assistant at Sojourners.
Photo of the Minister's Tree House via Wylio.