Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Samuel John Butcher (b. 1939)= Artist. Best known for his Precious Moments artwork. He was born in Jackson, Michigan, the third child of five. As a young child, his grandmother would tell him Bible stories and he would sketch Bible scenes under the dining room table. His talent was recognized; encouraged by his mother and school teachers. He studied hard and won awards. For example, he won a scholarship to the College of Arts & Crafts in Berkeley and married his college sweetheart to boot! But that was not enough to fill the emptiness he felt in his heart. One night, in a country church, Sam heard about Jesus, the Savior and he asked Him to come into his heart.
Early on, Sam illustrated for the TV program the "Tree House Club" and was on staff for Child Evangelism Fellowship. Ultimately, Sam desired to share the message of God's love with his art and in 1975, Precious Moments was introduced to the public. He and a friend at CEF, Bill Biel, started a small company to produce his inspirational art on cards and posters, calling their company Jonathan & David. The line became so popular that Enesco Corporation wanted to produce a 3D figurine "Love One Another" in 1978 with others to follow.* Other gift products have been produced as well.
Sam Butcher is a family man, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. His best legacy will be his desire to honor the Lord with his life and art. Sam's prayer is, by sharing his faith through the murals that bring beloved stories from the Bible to life in his Precious Moments Chapel, that all may be touched by the Spirit of God and be inspired to reach for the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus.
* My wedding cake ornament was a porcelain Precious Moment bride & groom figurine.
More to Read:
1. Nursery Rhymes. Sam Butcher. Baker Books, 1999.
2. The Precious Moments Chapel Keepsake Memory Book. Sam Butcher. 1994.
Places to Visit in MO.
Precious Moments Park & Chapel. 4321 Chapel Road, Carthage, MO. 800-543-7975, ext. 2983 www.preciousmoments.com