“And they (Jesus and His disciples) went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day He entered into the synagogue and taught…whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.” Mark 1:21, Luke 4:23, KJV, Holy Bible.
There is a Capernaum in North Texas, in Parker County, less than 10 miles from Weatherford, “A First Century Village” it is said. A Texas wife and mother dreamed a dream for many years, and it has finally come to fruition on a 100-acre hillside, near Peaster. Traveling on Farm-to-Market Road 920 north from Weatherford, a lighted sign can be seen, backed by a large statuary representing Jesus surrounded by cherubim. This sign proclaims the location of the Texas Capernaum.
Tammy Lane is the dreamer and the dream is a replica biblical-style city used as the setting for “shooting” Christian films and videos. Lane’s journey began when she told her dream to a church friend, Theresa Davidson. Together, they formulated the dream into reality, over the past five or six years, having completed two structures as background for filming short films at this point. Among the initial work of Ms. Lane’s infant film company were seven biblical short films done in 2004.
With this activity quickly becoming a viable ministry, Lane and her husband and children decided to create a reality-type film which would reveal spiritual and physical needs in third world countries. They put priority on filming visits to orphanages and poverty-stricken areas of Africa and India, as well as a leper colony on the sub-continent of India, as the focus of two films, entitled “Missions: Africa” and “Missions: India.” The family was accompanied by a crew of seven to eight assistants – all Christian men and credited filmmakers.
The scene was bound to enlarge. A little more than a year ago, a Korean sculptor, Yon Sim Pak, died after completing a large number of Christian-themed sculptures. After his passing, his family sought a place where the work of their father might be preserved, and possibly displayed. By good fortune, and God’s obvious direction, the statuary was obtained by Tammy Lane Productions, and the dream took wing. The primary focus, that of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, remained firm, but the use of the land and filming facilities was altered.
It became apparent that their physical site, a small portion of the 2,000-acre Cox Ranch was begging for a greater part in the TammyLane Ministries. One of the first ideas was planning for a garden setting for the sculptures so that the public might be able to view them. This brought on contact with Nathan Myers, a creative director who was asked to design the garden setting and arrange the sculptures. As the design progressed, it became a garden/maze/prayer area where side areas were highlighted, according to scripture, with a special door, “The Way” being prominent.
The tiered levels of the hillside were utilized to accommodate a bridge, from which the lower “cityscape” could be viewed, additional paths and biblical sites were created, including The Upper Room, The Inn in Bethlehem with an adjoining stable and manger, the building with a hole in the roof, to depict the scene where the lame man was brought to Jesus for healing, and finally, a “Path of Prophecy,” a tree-lined walk, through which discrete lighting provides special glimpses and insights to various prophecies of the bible. Alcoves for study and meditation were isolated around the various statues. Among the special statuary there is depicted The Lion of Judah, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection and The Tomb of Jesus on a hillside in Jerusalem.
“The Dream” continued to unfold as Ms. Lane surrounded herself with assistants and experts. She recruited others, in addition to her vice president, Theresa Davidson, who writes, directs, edits, does graphic design and makes coffee. Christopher Inman, veteran of the war in Iraq, and associate producer, also has multiple duties including casting, directing, screen writing, marketing and set-building. She enlisted the help of two brothers, Raymond and Glen Lynch who were involved in their own ministry, “Acts Two.” In addition to assisting with all phases of the creation of “Capernaum,” they continue their own ministry and will serve as counselors and information sources on the site.
As the buildings and the gardens progress, there grew in the hearts of those “in the loop” the desire to see that others became familiar with the setting. They developed the idea of making available a “retreat” where Christian groups might gather for a weekend, or several days, for special bible studies, planning sessions, a wedding chapel and other events that would benefit from a rural and biblical retreat to be fruitful or just relaxation. There is a large home at the top of the hill, just outside of the film site. There are sleeping facilities for 22 residents, meal preparation, and other accommodations. This facility will be opened at a later date.
This brings us to the ultimate fulfillment of “the Dream”, begun so long ago in the heart of Tammy Lane. At this moment, there is a dedicated and positive effort being put forth by the entire staff, plus several other “workers” to complete their first “opening day” presentation of a new focus.
Beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 4:30 p.m., “The Marketplace, located on “Candy Cane Lane” will be open, where hot drinks, food and desserts will be available. Nearby will be a petting zoo, a photo booth and an opportunity for a Candy Cane Lane Wagon ride. At 5:30 p.m., the gates are open for a leisurely walk-through of the entire facility, until 10:30 p.m. The Texas Capernaum will be open each evening during December, from Wednesday through Sunday. Convenient restrooms are available, as well as a counseling booth, where local pastors will assist the Lynch brothers, to answer questions regarding spiritual and biblical specifics.
This particular presentation is named “The Star of Bethlehem Experience” with an invitation to go back in time to the night Jesus was born. More information, including directions to the scene, may be obtained by calling (817) 424-5263, or by using the Web site, www.tammylaneproductions.com.
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