Ebenezer East worshipers visit the Ark Encounter

Published 2:21 pm Thursday, August 25, 2022

A story most children learn in Sunday school was brought to life for 38 parishioners from Ebenezer East Baptist Church leaving them with an experience of a lifetime.

The group had the opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

The trip took place over a four-day period, starting July 18.

“The Church has money in its budget every year to send the youth to camp during the summer,” said Virginia Branum, the current church clerk. 

Lynn Branum, who teaches Sunday School, said, “The way this started, we were researching church camps, and all but two of our kids were old enough to go to teen camps.”

So, she recommended the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum.

 Rev. Tim Skipper agreed.

“It started out as a youth trip, then we opened it up to the church, and then we opened it up to people outside of our church to go, too,” Lynn Branum said.

She went on to say, “Before we went, Christy (Turner) and I worked with the kids in Sunday school and got them up to the flood. Mr. Tim worked with the adults to come up with questions, and we worked with the kids in Sunday school to come up with questions we wanted answers to, as far as the flood and the Garden of Eden, and things of that nature.”

“Even the ones who didn’t get to go on the trip, they still had to research it in their Bible and find the answers as well,” Lynn Branum revealed.

So they got to work on figuring out the expenses. When they saw that it was feasible, Ebenezer East chartered a bus out of Montgomery, loaded up the group of attendees, and set out for Kentucky.

“The trip took about eight hours,” Lynn Branum recalled.

“We stayed in a brand-new hotel,” Virginia Branum added. “There were two queen size beds in every room. We had a little kitchenette; if you wanted to cook, you could.”

After everyone had some rest, they all headed to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

“Now that was so interesting,” Virginia Branum said.

“The Creation Museum starts with the Book of Genesis. It shows the repercussions  of sin,” Lynn Branum said.

Christy Turner added, “And they showed both sides. The scientific side and the Biblical.”

Lynn Branum agreed. “It had them side by side, so you could read it. They showed what the Theory of Evolution said and then the Biblical view. The kids have got to have that.”

After this adventure, the group returned to their hotel for more rest.

The next day, they headed just 45 minutes from the Creation Museum to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.

Lynn Branum said, “You read the story of Noah and the Ark and the Bible tells us the dimensions, but when you’re pulling up to it and you see it, it was even bigger than I envisioned.”

Turner said, “We looked like ants next to this thing.”

“And you’re sitting there and you’re thinking we have all this equipment and it took two, two and a half years to build this,” Lynn Branum said. “And Noah did this with nothing. We talk about all things are possible with God, to see something like that brought it to life. To me, it shows that He is real.”

Turner added, “It was very detailed. It showed how Noah and his family lived and what the animals looked like.”

Virginia Branum said, “The site is truly beautiful. All the youth in our church were old enough to understand it. We all had a good time.”

Turner said, “We’re going through all those questions now and talking about what we saw. This has had a profound effect on our church. We had a really good time. If you ever get an opportunity to go, then please do.”

Lynn Branum added, “It was well worth it.”

The Ark Encounter is located at 1 Ark Encounter Drive, also known as 220 KY HWY 36 West, in Williamstown, Kentucky. The exhibit is open Sundays from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. and Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

For information on the Ark Encounter or ticket prices,  call (855) 284-3275, visit www.arkencounter.com, or search for the encounter on Facebook.

More information on The Creation Museum can be found at www.creationmuseum.org or on its Facebook page.