If you go
What: Messiah’s Mansion
When: 1 to 7 p.m. daily, June 22-29
Where: Stutsman County Fairgrounds north parking lot
Information: www.jamestownsanctuary.com, www.messiahsmansion.com
A life-size replica of the Hebrew tabernacle that Moses built can be viewed in Jamestown starting at 1 p.m. Friday, June 21, through next week.
The event is sponsored by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Cleveland and the Dakota Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. The Dakota Conference is providing 60 percent of the $8,500 cost to bring Messiah’s Mansion here, and the Cleveland church paid the rest, said Cheryl Erickson, evangelism coordinator of the Cleveland church. She said the church is expecting 2,000 visitors to Messiah’s Mansion, which will be on display June 22-29 in the north parking lot at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.
“Just to share the plan of salvation,” Erickson said when asked why the church worked to bring it here. “When Moses built this tabernacle in the wilderness according to God's instructions, every piece of furniture and every action of the people and the priest pointed forward to Jesus’ sacrifice. And as we look at the symbols we can see how much God loved us and how much he cared.”
The 75-minute guided tour of the replica features 15-minute stops at five stations. Tours begin every 15 minutes starting at 1 p.m. daily, and they are free.
According to www.jamestownsanctuary.com, the stations, in order, feature a structural overview of the Hebrew Tabernacle and “its intricate, purposeful design.” Station two features the courtyard, where the guide will explain the symbolism of the Altar of Sacrifice and the Laver. Station three, the Holy Place, will provide information about the significance of the Table of Shewbread, Altar of Incense and candelabra. At station four, discover the Ark of the Covenant, the only article in the Most Holy Place and “the most important element in the tabernacle.”
Station five, the last station in the tour, focuses on the special garment worn by the high priest and how it affected the history of the Hebrews.
Another tent will offer resources available for further study, including visual aids, DVDs and books.
Erickson said the church has had a booth at the Stutsman County Fair for the last 10 years and it has worked well. But this year, she wanted to do something different. Her sister told her about Messiah’s Mansion, which she had seen through her church in Little Rock, Ark.
“There were so many obstacles (to bringing it here), like where can you put something 200 feet by 200 feet?” Erickson said.
She connected with Mike Williams, president of the Stutsman County Fair Board, who said Thursday the fair board unanimously approved having it at the site. People do not have to pay fair admission to get into the site.
Erickson said the obstacles to bringing Messiah’s Mansion were all answered in prayer, from the site to the funding, to finding volunteers to help assemble it.
“Everything has just fallen into place,” she said.
The Cleveland church is small, with 50 members, Erickson said.
“We’ve been really excited about this, the whole group,” she said. The church’s new pastor, Peter Simpson, from South Africa, is expected to arrive this week and will be at the event.
When people visit Messiah’s Mansion they will see a full-size model of the tabernacle that Moses built in the wilderness. According to www.messiahsmansion.com, at the display people can "travel back over 3,000 years into the desert between Egypt and Palestine where more than 2 million people banded together to build a tabernacle for their God. Each element inside this sanctuary had deep significance to the Hebrew people and this tour brings each symbol to life."
God gave Moses construction sizes and materials to use in creating the tabernacle and Moses created it from his instructions, Erickson said.
Messiah’s Mansion was created by Carolyn and Clayton Leinneweber, based on those instructions that were recorded in the book of Exodus in the Bible.
Carolyn Leinneweber said the couple attended a church in 1995 in southern California. The church’s pastor got an invitation to present information he had been researching on the symbolism later featured in Messiah’s House to some young people.
“It was so well accepted, the young people were just spellbound,” she said. “And we thought, ‘Wow, if we could get the attention of teenagers with this, what would it do for the community,’ and so we went back and built this.”
Messiah’s Mansion was built in 1995 and used for a few years with the church, then the couple moved to Oklahoma.
Leinneweber said God has a plan and it’s the symbols in the sanctuary showing that plan to redeem people so they can live with him in heaven forever.
“That’s why we set this up, because the visual aid to see it, what they actually did physically, and you start plugging in the symbols and what they actually mean, you get the big picture of what this plan is and how God is going to redeem man to live with him in heaven,” she said.
“It’s been so powerful,” she added. “Even though it’s a lot of work to set up, it’s worth the effort because the visual aid is so powerful to see.”
Depending on the crew of volunteers and the equipment available, it can take 500 to 700 man hours to assemble Messiah’s Mansion, Leinneweber said.