There is a full-size model of the Wilderness Tabernacle in Winston, Oregon! On our family vacation we went to the Wildlife Safari in Winston, it is basically a drive through zoo. When we were leaving the park we drove by this Bible bookstore surrounded by animal cutouts. As I was asking the family if we should check it out or not, I noticed a small sign that said, “Full scale model of the Tabernacle inside!” That clinched it, we had to see it.
Inside there was a very nice lady and her husband who we hit it off with right away. They are Irvin and Shirley Thrush. The main emphasis seemed to be Noah’s ark, but by far the biggest attraction there is the full-scale model of the Tabernacle. We bought a self-guided tour, and our middle son donned a biblical costume that Shirley provided. He was quite proud of the way he looked. You go through and push the play button on CD players that are hooked up to full-sized mannequins that move their mouths to the words of the audio program. Each program explains the facts about the Tabernacle starting in the Outer Courts and moving through the Holy of Holies. Everything was completely accurate and biblical. There are wonderful murals painted on the walls and you can see standards for every tribe posted around the Tabernacle where the tribes would have camped. There is a full size Bronze Altar, a Laver, a slaughtering table. There is a lamb tied to the bronze altar for the Passover Lamb, and two goats for the Yom Kippur sacrifice. In the Holy Place there is a Menorah, a Table of Show-bread and an Altar of Incense where another priest explains everything. Around the back there is the Holy of Holies where Aaron explains the Ark of the Covenant, and everything in it. Then the tour wraps up with all of the different Temples of the Jews.
In addition to all of this Shirley took the time to show us two rooms where she has dioramas set up. One shows Ezekiel’s Temple and the New Jerusalem, and the other goes through the Gospels from Bethlehem to the Resurrection. She has such a passion for telling the message of Salvation that it was a pleasure to listen to everything she said. I can hardly wait to go back.
It is amazing what Shirley, Irvin, and their son has put together, not to mention the others who have helped. There are only a few full size models of the Tabernacle in the US and this is the only one on the West Coast that I know of. We really had a good time. In fact I liked it much better than the Wildlife Safari and that was amazing as well. As our son kept saying, “Best vacation ever!” and I agree. If you are going down I-5 through southern Oregon take a detour west of Roseburg into Winston and visit Noah’s Ark in Winston: www.noahsarkwinston.com