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SBC DIGEST: FBC Montgomery building damaged; Ark Encounter and Creation Museum designer dies

‘Trying days’: Sanctuary steps at FBC Montgomery damaged

By The Alabama Baptist Staff

Still cleaning up from a Sept. 30 arson attack, First Baptist Church Montgomery experienced another destructive night Dec. 1 when an out-of-control car ran into the front steps of the main sanctuary.

“Around 9 p.m. [Dec. 1], an individual lost control of their car and ran into the front steps of the main sanctuary,” pastor Mark Bethea said in a Facebook post. “There was heavy damage to the staircase and railing, but we are so thankful the individual appears to be OK.”

The steps of First Baptist Montgomery sustained serious damage after being hit by a car Dec. 1. Police continue to investigate an arson at the church on Sept. 30. Photo from The Alabama Baptist.

The steps are not in use as the main sanctuary is still being restored, Bethea said. The church has been in the process of an extensive cleaning process after four fires were set at FBC Montgomery on Sept. 30. Xiaoqin Yan, 27, was arrested Oct. 4 on charges of second-degree arson and also faces federal charges in the attack.Bethea encouraged church members to persevere despite the challenges the church has faced.“Keep praying dear brothers and sisters,” he wrote. “The Lord is so gracious and good in the midst of all the mess. He continues to be our Good Shepherd, and He will continue to faithfully navigate us through these trying days.”

This story first appeared at The Alabama Baptist.

Designer of popular exhibits at Ark Encounter and Creation Museum dies

By Answers in Genesis Communications

HEBRON, Ky. (BP) — The creative genius behind the buildings and exhibits enjoyed by millions at the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, Patrick Marsh, passed away Thursday afternoon at age 77. A world-renowned art director, Marsh’s previous designs included the popular Jaws and King Kong attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. At the time of his death, he was the Vice President of Attractions Design for Answers in Genesis, the organization responsible for building and operating the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in N. Kentucky. Marsh, who joined AiG in 2001, largely designed these international destinations.

Patrick Marsh, 77, designer of popular exhibits at the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum died Dec. 2. Photo from Answers in Genesis

For more than 50 years, Marsh’s skills and expertise redefined quality and craftsmanship in projects such as the coordination of 50 designers for the grounds of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the dramatic unveiling of the refurbished Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor in 1986. In 2019, a USA Today readers’ poll picked the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum as America’s top two faith-based attractions, another credit to his world-class work.

Ken Ham, AiG founder and CEO, declared: “Patrick’s fingerprints are all over the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. I have never worked with a more creative person. Calling him a ‘genius’ is not an overstatement. I will miss him dearly, not only as a colleague but as a friend.”

For twenty years, Marsh took Ham’s ideas and, with remarkable creativity, made them into three-dimensional reality. At his death, Marsh was overseeing the total redesign of the museum’s large Palm Plaza section, which will include a stunning pro-life exhibit Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.

Marsh earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial design and his master’s degree in environmental design from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining AiG to design the Creation Museum and later the Ark Encounter, Marsh was the director of design for Dream Makers in Japan. There, he was responsible for the total concept design of various theme parks in Asia, including scriptwriting, art direction, scenic design and architectural design.

Marsh leaves behind his wife, Sakae, whom he met and married in Japan, and the entire staff of AiG—particularly his grieving team of designers and artists who looked up to and leaned upon this remarkably gifted man.

Read the full story here.

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