Biblical history museum comes to Highland Springs

Created date

June 27th, 2010

To the delight of history buffs and the devout alike, the Hillcrest Clubhouse at Highland Springs was recently transformed into an exhibit hall, housing ancient manuscripts and rare archeological treasures relating to the world s most influential book. [caption id="attachment_12847" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Rusty Maisel gives a printing demonstration on his replica of the Gutenberg printing press. (Photo by Sara Martin)"] Experienced by more than 200,000 people worldwide, The Enduring Word is a moveable museum showcasing Biblical artifacts, including fragments of the Torah circa 1200 A.D. and a page from the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed with a moveable type printing press. I first saw The Enduring Word exhibit ten years ago in my hometown of Brownwood, says David Rogers, Highland Springs pastoral ministries coordinator. I knew it would be wonderful to bring it to our campus because we have such a strong faith community here. The exhibit, based out of Weatherford, Tex., is the private collection of Rusty Maisel, a leading authority on ancient Biblical texts. Maisel was the curator of the 2006 exhibit at Fair Park, Ancient Treasures of the Holy Land. My collection consists of artifacts from 3000 B.C. through the first edition of the King James Bible, says Maisel. Every item in this exhibit has come to me in such a way that it could only have been orchestrated by God.

Connection to history

[caption id="attachment_12846" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Handwritten manuscripts of the Torah, or first five books of the Bible, written on antelope skins and sheepskin, circa 1200 A.D. and 1400 A.D. (Photo by Sara Martin)"][/caption] Maisel s interest in historical printing led him to build a full-size replica of the Gutenberg printing press, which he uses to give printing demonstrations throughout the exhibit s run. ForHighland Springsresident Gene Lawrence, the demonstrations were of particular interest. This is really fascinating, says Lawrence. I worked for Harris-Seybold printing company after high school, experimenting with various types of metal and plastic printing plates to see how long each would last. The spiritual significance of the exhibit also appealed to Lawrence. After serving as music director at Wadsworth United Methodist Church in Ohio for 32 years, he now directs theHighland SpringsChorus. We have about 40 people putting on programs for the community throughout the year, he says. Various ensembles from the group also provide music during the Tuesday night chapel service.

Open to everyone

The weekly chapel service, led by area pastors and retired ministers who live atHighland Springs, is one of the many faith-based activities offered at the community. A significant number of our residents are active in their churches, says Rogers. But we also offer a lot of spiritual food atHighland Springs. Our Tuesday evening chapel service is usually full, with around 120 residents who regularly attend. Other popular campus offerings include weekly Bible studies and prayer meetings. Jody Jackson moved toHighland Springsfrom Houston in November 2006 and began attending the Women at the Well Bible Study shortly after. We ve done Beth Moore Bible studies, Advent studies, Lenten studies, and a study on the bookThe Shack. All of them have been terrific, says Jackson. We invited men to join us for our most recent study, Philip Yancey sThe Jesus I Never Knew. To support its expanding spiritual life programs,Highland Springsestablished an Interfaith Advisory Council earlier this year. The council, made up of residents from diverse religious backgrounds, meets monthly to discuss ways to meet the community s spiritual needs. We may come from a mix of backgrounds, says Pete Robertson, the council s spokesperson, but the programs offered at Highland Springs are open to everyone.