See the Ark
There is nowhere in the United States where you can see a life-sized replica of the ark. For now, you have to go to Netherlands or Hong Kong or Canada. But some arks are being built in the U.S.!
Johan’s Ark, Dordrecht, Holland
Johan Huibers was a successful Dutch contractor who became a Christian when he was twenty-four years old. He eventually realized he could share his new faith by building a replica of the ark.
At first he built a half-size (220 feet long) ark, which opened to the public in 2007. For more than three years Johan’s ark traveled the canals of Netherlands, stopping at twenty-one mooring places to “give children something tangible to show that Noah’s ark really existed,” and “to tell them there is a God who loves us.” But John Huibers had bigger dreams. He sold his half-sized ark and built a full-sized one (450 feet long) which opened to the public in July 2012. The full-sized ark now towers above the flat Dutch landscape in Dordrecht, just south of Rotterdam. For more information see www.arcofnoah.org.
Noah’s Ark Park and Resort, Hong Kong
Thomas Kwok, a real estate developer and, with his two bothers, the third richest person in Hong Kong, became a Christian when he and his wife went through an Alpha Course.
In the early 2000s, Kwok’s company began to develop a 240-acre island in the Hong Kong harbor, including a five-thousand-unit apartment building and a family-oriented amusement park. Because of his Christian faith, Thomas convinced his brothers to build a life-sized replica of Noah’s ark to “promote education and interest as well as love and harmony.” And the biblical account of creation.
The five-story life-sized ark includes a forty-three-room hotel, a fine dining restaurant, and an “Ark Expo”—displays, dioramas, and a children’s creation museum. Unlike Johan’s ark, which is seaworthy, the ark in Hong Kong was never intended to float. It’s a stationary building. For more information see www.noahsark.com.hk.
The School of the Spirit, Florenceville, New Brunswick
Paul Smith’s father started a church in New Brunswick in 1945, and since 1979 father and son have been working together. They have pastored the Burnham Road Cathedral, started a Bible school, supported missionaries . . . and built an ark two-thirds the size of Noah’s.
The ark contains dormitory rooms for students in the Bible school, administrative offices, and healing rooms. It is also used as a retreat center. For more information see www.brministries.com.
Arks Being Built in the United States:
Richard Greene, pastor of a non-denominational church in Frostburg, Maryland, said that in 1974 God told him in repeated dreams to build an ark on a hillside next to Interstate 68. Groundbreaking was in September 1974 and steel beams for the first phase were installed twenty-five years later. The church is raising money to finish the first phase. When completed, the building will be a church and conference center. For more information see www.godsark.org.
A 510-foot long replica of Noah’s ark is planned for the Ark Encounter theme park to be built forty-five minutes south of Cincinnati, Ohio. “Inside will be three levels, pens for animals, facilities for feeding them, and living quarters for Noah and his family,” said Patrick Marsh, director of design. “We’ll have live animals and both static and animatronic animals.”
Eventually the park will also contain the Tower of Babel, a first-century Middle-Eastern village, a boat ride down the Nile, an aviary, a petting zoo, and more.
The basic planning is complete, and the design team is working on the details. The construction contract with an Indiana firm has been signed, and $24.5 million funding is being raised.
Ark Encounter is being built by Answers in Genesis, which also built the Creation Museum about 45 minutes northwest of Williamstown in Petersburg, Kentucky. For more information see http://arkencounter.com.
In 2012 four friends from Hialeah, Florida, became concerned about the environment and the needs of animals, and wanted to create a safe place where unwanted animals could find care, where injured animals could be nurtured back to health, and where people could adopt animals as pets. They joined forces to build “the Hidden Ark” on five acres.
It took them only six months to build the first of three decks. Then county officials notified them they did not have the necessary permits and zoning approval and would have to tear down what they had built.
The four are now planning a five-hundred-acre park that will include modern rides, Babylonian gardens, a water park, and, of course, a replica of Noah’s ark. You cannot have a Noah’s Ark Amusement Park without it. For more information see http://hiddenark.com.