On April 9, the traveling Mosaic Sanctuary exhibit, Messiah’s Mansion, opened in St. Louis. The exhibit, which can be seen through guided tours, will accept attendees until 7 p.m. on April 17.
In 2020, St. Louis Central Church member Amy Ikpeama was inspired by a sermon about the symbolism of the sanctuary. She wondered if there was a way the church could build a life-sized replica of the sanctuary and invite the community to come see it. After discussing these possibilities with different teams in the church, the church determined it would be very difficult to build their own life-sized replica of the sanctuary.
Not giving up completely on the idea, Ikpeama began searching the internet.
“One way or another I stumbled upon Messiah’s Mansion,” Ikpeama said. “The church found out [Messiah’s Mansion does] tours. They have a life-size replica that they travel with in a semi-truck.”
After more research, the church decided to book a date for Messiah’s Mansion to come to the St. Louis area.
“We wanted to book their dates, and I really wanted it to be at Easter time,” Ikpeama said. “So, we filled out the application, we got the deposit, we sent it in and then we started working — which included [finding] a location.”
Obtaining a location ended up being more difficult than Ikpeama initially thought. Since Messiah’s Mansion is a life-size replica, the exhibit requires a large space. Eventually, after several months of looking and research, in December 2021, just four months before Messiah’s Mansion was coming, St. Louis Central found a non-Adventist church willing to hold the event on their property.
After the location was secured, St. Louis Central and other area churches, both in the Iowa-Missouri Conference and the Central States Conference began advertising. The churches handed out letters, launched a digital advertising campaign, bought billboard advertising and did radio interviews.
Six churches, St. Louis Central, St. Louis Mid-Rivers, St. Louis Southside, West County, St. Louis Spanish and Agape, partnered together to make Messiah’s Mansion possible. Carolyn Leinneweber, Assistant Director for Messiah’s Mansion, said the teamwork between churches has been “awesome.”
“It really warms my heart to see the churches working together,” Leinneweber said.
If interested in attending, you can reserve a ticket on www.messiahsmansion.com/stlouis, there are also walk-ups available.