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Precious Moments figurines creator dead at 85: Life’s mission was ‘to share God’s gift of love with the world’

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Sam Butcher, the artist who created the Precious Moments figurines depicting angelic teardrop-eyed youngsters, has died. He was 85.

The firm stated in a Facebook publish that he died early Monday surrounded by household. It stated his life’s mission was “to share God’s gift of love with the world.” No particulars about his trigger of dying have been supplied.

Some of the Christian-themed figurines function Bible verses or youngsters praying. Fans have collections numbering in the lots of, whereas critics deride them as kitsch.

Sam Butcher, who created Precious Moments figurines, has died at age 85.
Sam Butcher, who created Precious Moments figurines, has died at age 85. Precious Moments
Some of the Christian-themed figurines feature Bible verses or children praying. Fans have collections numbering in the hundreds, while critics deride them as kitsch.
Some of the Christian-themed figurines function Bible verses or youngsters praying. Fans have collections numbering in the lots of, whereas critics deride them as kitsch. AP
A limited edition Precious Moments doll of Pope Francis was released in 2015 to commemorate his visit to the Philippines in January of that year.
A restricted version Precious Moments doll of Pope Francis was launched in 2015 to commemorate his go to to the Philippines in January of that 12 months. LightRocket by way of Getty Images

Butcher’s childhood love of illustrating acquired a wider viewers when he started telling Bible tales on a youngsters’s ministry tv present whereas he drew. That expertise led to him co-founding a enterprise in 1974 named Jonathan & David after the biblical figures, in response to his online obituary.

Early choices included greeting playing cards; inside a couple of years, these drawings have been reworked into porcelain figurines.

Thousands of designs have been produced over the many years, and followers of his work flock annually to the Precious Moments Inspiration Park and Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.

Precious Moments figurines embraced various themes.
Precious Moments figurines embraced numerous themes, together with some with Disney tie-ins. Precious Moments
"The Little Mermaid" was even featured as a Precious Moments piece of art.
“The Little Mermaid” was even featured as a Precious Moments piece of artwork. Precious Moments

The cornerstone of the pastel-painted, non-denominational oasis is the chapel, which Butcher was impressed to construct by a 1983 journey to the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It consists of 84 Biblical murals that cowl greater than 5,000 sq. ft.

“He was such an extremely talented artist, but he never took the credit for his talent,” stated Joette Blades, the director of the chapel and a pal. “He always said that it was a gift from God, and he gave God all the glory for all the talents that he had.”

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