USA (MNN) -- More than 3.5 million people have visited the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum in Kentucky since it opened over a decade ago. And when the Creation Museum’s sister attraction, the Ark Encounter, opened in 2016, the number of daily visitors tripled and even quadrupled.
The Answers in Genesis team is always expanding both the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, and they have some exciting new upgrades planned.
Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, says of the Creation Museum, “It’s really a whole walk through the Bible. It’s what we call the seven C's of history -- creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross, consummation. We use animatronic dinosaurs and life-size exhibits. We have a planetarium, we have a special effects theater, [and] we have botanical gardens outside. We also have ziplines -- the biggest and best in the Midwest -- and we have a petting zoo, live animal programs, we have an auditorium; I mean it’s an incredible place.”
“At the Creation Museum right now we are upgrading our special effects theater to be a 3D theater and we’re going to have a 3D program in there as well as other programs too. And we continue to upgrade the exhibits in the Creation Museum as well.”
As for the Ark Encounter, it is a life-size Noah’s ark -- the biggest timber frame structure in the world. The Ark stands seven stories high, is one and a half times the length of a football field and half a football field’s width. Inside, the Ark is filled stem-to-stern with exhibits
“Many people are coming [to the Ark] now,” says Ham. “So we’ve had to add parking lots, and that’s an exciting thing for a Christian facility to do.”
While there are over 55,000 museums in the world, the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter are truly one-of-a-kind since they clearly link science with the Creator and history with the Author -- the triune God of the Bible.
“One of the unique aspects of what we do at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum and the Ark is that we teach apologetics. It’s missing from a lot of churches [and] it’s missing from a lot of homes because kids today have all sorts of questions about [the Bible]. That’s the uniqueness of what we do. We give answers those to help people understand the history in the Bible is true. That’s why the Gospel based on that history is true.”
Not only that, everything at these attractions is well-done with attention to quality. Some of the designers for the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter have also worked on other projects for Disney and Hollywood.
“They’ve every bit the quality of Disney. In fact, many people who come here who have been to Disney say it’s actually better quality than Disney. I was taking one of the secular reporters through for CBS actually, and as we were walking through the ark and we were between the second and third decks, the reporter turned to me and said, ‘You said this is the quality of Hollywood?’ I said, ‘Yeah?’ He said, ‘No, no, this is way beyond Hollywood.’”
Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis. (Photo and header photo courtesy of Answers in Genesis)
The attractions at the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter are unintrusive ways to introduce people to biblical truth. In fact, about 30 percent of visitors are not Christians.
“When you are at the Ark and actually you walk around at the Ark, you will see people from all sorts of different cultures, all sorts of different backgrounds, different religious backgrounds...and you can tell they’re non-Christians too because you can actually walk around and hear them speaking and sometimes you’ll hear them saying, ‘Wow, I never thought of that before. Wow, nobody ever told me about that…. Do you really think this is true?’”
Ham shares, “I have had non-Christians actually come to me and say, ‘You know, we’re not Christians and we came to this facility and we just appreciate the way you present it. You’re not banging someone on the head. You’re not trying to force them to believe it.”
“That’s the incredible thing about using exhibits is that the exhibits do the teaching. And because the exhibits do the teaching, then that means that it’s not like someone personally hitting them on the head, and so they really appreciate that.”
As visitors interact with the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, it can open their eyes to biblical truth. But more than that, it can open their hearts to a relationship with the God whom it all points to.
“We’ve heard of people who become Christians as a result of being there and saying, ‘You know what? I never realized you could trust the Bible,’ and they commit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Testifying to the truth of God’s Word is ultimately why the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter exist.
Grand opening of the Ark, July 2016, with 8,000 people in attendance. (Photo, caption courtesy of Answers in Genesis)
Ham shares, “When we opened the Ark, we had the board lay 12 stones. That’s because I love that passage in Joshua with the 12 stones to be a memorial so when you’re children ask, you will not forget to tell them about what God has done and also to be a witness to the world.
“So my prayer is that people will pray that lots of kids will come -- the coming generations that have been secularized by our culture -- and we’ll be able to raise up a generation that will stand for Him in a big way.”
Please pray for Answers in Genesis’ leadership and staff to be spiritually encouraged in their work. And as the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter provide witness to biblical truth, pray that more people would be inspired to begin relationships with Jesus Christ.
Ken Ham at the life-size Noah’s Ark. (Photo, caption courtesy of Answers in Genesis)