Learn More About The Artist In The
Samuel J. Butcher Museum
A treasure trove of history, the Samuel J. Butcher Museum houses many unique and beautiful pieces of memorabilia spanning his childhood and family, the early days of Jonathan & David Company, construction of the Chapel, and never before sold figurines, mementos, and keepsakes.
The Door That Started It All
Near the entrance, behind glass, stands an intricately painted and largely intact wood and glass door. Hand-painted by Mr. Butcher ahead of the 1975 Christian Booksellers Convention, the door served as the premier showpiece for the newly-formed Jonathan & David Company and its newly-introduced PRECIOUS MOMENTS brand.
When Special People Cross Your Path
Many visitors to the Chapel remark at how Mr. Butcher’s work touches them in a personal and special way. He is revered by many for his talent, his bubbling personality, and his unwavering faith. Over the years several people have crossed his path who have touched Mr. Butcher’s life in the same ways.
Inside the Museum, enjoy photos and stories of some of these special meetings including former President of the Philippines, Maria Corazon “Cory” Acquino, former U.S. President and First Lady George & Barbara Bush, and even childhood hero, Roy Rogers!
Did You Know?
Happy Trails To You Figurine was created for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. A signed copy was presented to Roy Rogers at his famous Victorville, CA ranch in 1996.
Did You Know?
Mr. Butcher presented one of only three 9” God Bless The USA Figurines to then President and First Lady George & Barbara Bush at the White House in 1992.
The Early Days Are Never Far Away
Behind the first desk Mr. Butcher used during the beginning years of Jonathan & David Company is the first-ever Precious Moments mural. In its original state, the mural was much larger as it was created for the entrance of the company offices. In the early 1990s, the top and bottom of the mural were removed for transit from the Grand Rapids, Michigan office to its permanent home in the Samuel J. Butcher Museum.
Before Painting Could Begin
While working full-time realizing his Chapel dream and developing new merchandise for the Precious Moments Company, Mr. Butcher was constantly doodling on any medium he could find. The Museum is home to many of these doodles, including original sketches of the stunning Chapel ceiling!
From Paper Scraps …
Paper scraps became the future vision of a beautiful figurine, a sheet of notebook paper became the outline for a gorgeous carved doll, and famously a piece of drawing paper carries the early sketches of the mural Hallelujah Square.
…To Works of Art
It was in Ilo Ilo, Philippines that a rough sketch of the Chapel gates was made in the dirt outside of the gate-maker’s factory. Later pen met paper – four paper napkins from a tea shop – to be exact! Tragically three of the napkin designs were completely destroyed when they came in too close contact with a welder’s torch at the gate-maker’s factory. The surviving napkin drawing is on display in the Museum and the finished product is only a few steps away at the entrance to the Chapel path!
We wish you were here! Learn more about the
2021 Family Reunion Event.