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Roadside Americana-God’s Ark of Safety

Throughout history there have existed legends of prophets and oracles. Those from biblical times are today thought to be prophets of God’s word. However, if someone today proclaims to deliver a message straight from God, he is thought to be delusional, lying, or severely

mentally ill. Despite this, each age has had their own prophets from the Oracle at Delphi to Joan of Arc. In fiction, prophecies are a cornerstone driving the plot such as with Harry Potter.

In 1976 Pastor Richard Greene of Frostburg, MD began to see visions. His relationship with God had begun some time before when he states that God instructed him to become pastor of a church that couldn’t afford to pay a minister. He followed this request and formed a small congregation. When the visions began he saw a large ark like building. Further, he saw people coming from around the world to visit it. The visions lasted for three months and the Pastor would hear God instructing him to build this ark replica as his new church.

For those who may be unaware of the Noah’s ark legend, god instructed Noah that a world wide flood was coming and he must build an ark. Upon that ark he was to gather two of every type of creature and load his family upon it. He was mocked by the townspeople who did not believe he was receiving instructions from God. He was deemed crazy. It rained for forty days and forty nights thereby flooding the world where every human drowned as they were wicked in the eyes of God. I have to remark here that within the ancient world, numerous cultures have a flood legend which pre-dates the biblical account. Whether you believe the account of Noah or not, the apparent reality was that at some point in the ancient world there was a catastrophic flood event which was recorded by various cultures.

Pastor Greene was to build an ark that measured 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. That’s quite an impressive feat and honestly standing before the scaffolding which was completed was awe inspiring. Unlike in Noah’s case, people seemed to believe in Pastor Greene and began to donate land and money for the project. By the late 1980’s one third of the steel frame was completed. Since then, donations have slowed to a trickle, but Pastor Greene and his followers are standing on their faith and being patient.

Some may argue that it was the devil who was speaking to the Pastor rather than God. Some accused him of using the ark as a way to cheat people out of money. Yet the question remains, did God speak to him or was it something else? Do prophets and oracles exist today and have they ever existed? Some churches argue that prophets are no longer necessary in today’s world as we have everything figured out so to speak. One things people of faith and otherwise agree upon is that the gift (or curse) of prophecy is something supernatural. And in modern times would a psychic be considered a prophet or perhaps oracle? These questions may never be properly answered. The legends continue.

Thank you for reading. Please check out our recent visit to the Ark.

** I was still battling a summer headcold when I filmed this so I apologize in advance for my use of “this guy” as opposed to “Pastor Greene.”

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