WILLIAMSBURG, KY — Have you ever wondered how Noah got all those animals in the ark? How large would a sea-worthy vessel have to be in order to get elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses, water buffaloes, and all the rest of the animals inside its confines?
Those who read Genesis 7 and 8 will likely conclude that the eight people and all those creatures in the ark remained inside for just over a year, so what you literally have is a few people and a multiplicity of animals confined to a ship for about 375 days. The feeding, sustenance, noise, activity, and smell of ark-life for over a year – well, it’s mind-boggling. The story of Noah and his ark is an incredible, miraculous account of God’s salvation and provision.
Interestingly, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, has had an ark constructed that is as closely akin to Noah’s Ark as biblical and historical accounts will permit. Ham has a Creationist apologetics ministry that operates the much-heralded Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.
Jason Nave, senior executive pastor of North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, has worked with Answers in Genesis and commented, “When I saw the almost-completed Ark a few months ago, my first thought was that this project will reach millions of people with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and I was impressed with the immense size of the Ark. It’s astounding.”
Patterned after Noah’s Ark, the huge vessel is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. It is also built 15 feet off the ground. It is almost the length of two football fields. Mark Looy, co-founder of Answers in Genesis, explained that just seeing the Ark is a “jaw-dropping experience.”
Nave commented, “The first wooden beams went up in June of last year. Throughout 2015 you could easily see as many as 75 Amish wood-workers, mostly from Indiana, on the site doing what could be described as ‘Ark-raising’ – as opposed to the well-known barn-raising of the Amish. At certain times there have been as many as 350 workers on the Ark site at one time. The Ark is the largest timber-frame structure in the world.
“The Ark Encounter is located on 800 acres of land with 4,000 parking spaces, various exhibits, a large restaurant, and a family-friendly zoo. The cost of the entire project was around $100 million.
“The money for the Ark was raised through bond offering and donations,” Nave continued. “No money came from the state of Kentucky to build the Ark, which is a widespread Internet myth. In reality, the Ark is a wonderful venue for presenting the Gospel and Ken Ham is confident that millions will be reached for Christ as the Ark Encounter is used to help fulfill the Great Commission.”
The Ark Encounter opens to the public on July 7, and Ham said there’s a special reason for that. In speaking to CBN News Ham stated, “In Genesis 7:7 it says that Noah and his family entered the ark. So we thought the 7th of the 7th would be a good time to open.”
Nave continued, “As a pastor, I would urge everyone to visit the Ark Encounter. Most Georgians can drive up in less than a day. The Ark is right off I-75 and north of Lexington, KY. This immense ship will be one of the greatest evangelistic venues of our era and one of the greatest assets for the church in equipping people with the truth of God’s Word beginning in Genesis with the proclamation of the Gospel.
“The Ark Encounter is a wonderful opportunity to take unsaved family and friends to this unique family-friendly attraction. Unbelievers who might not normally think of going to church are probably much more likely to visit a stunning theme park-like attraction and be lovingly challenged to consider God’s truth and the saving Gospel.
“This family attraction will also impact the children of our churches in ways no other facility probably could, because the Ark encounter will ground them in the authority of God’s Word and also help them combat today’s secular attacks on the Christian faith.
Nave concluded by saying, “I am thrilled for my friend Ken Ham and the entire team at Answers in Genesis for creating such a God-honoring, evangelistic project. I encourage all Christian Index readers to plan their trip to this world-class Bible-proclaiming attraction by going to www.ArkEncounter.com.”