Desert Bizarro: Exploring a slowly decaying Christian theme park outside Joshua Tree National Park.

Near Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert, this Christian theme park was the concept of the then local pastor Reverend Eddie Garver who visualized creating the faith-based attraction as a light and symbol for world peace. In 1950, the US government helped Garver to realize his dream and granted the ‘Desert Pastor’ 5 acres of south-facing land on a desolate mount, overlooking the valley.

Near Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert, this Christian theme park was the concept of the then local pastor Reverend Eddie Garver who visualized creating the faith-based attraction as a light and symbol for world peace. In 1950, the US government helped Garver to realize his dream and granted the ‘Desert Pastor’ 5 acres of south-facing land on a desolate mount, overlooking the valley.

The effects of the 1992 earthquake in nearby Landers, which knocked off hands, feet and heads exposing steely skeletons, must be creepy to even to the most pious visitor. Limited funding and wanton neglect have also taken their toll, most noticeably in the ‘Blessing of the Children’ scenes where small children are missing limbs and faces.

The effects of the 1992 earthquake in nearby Landers, which knocked off hands, feet and heads exposing steely skeletons, must be creepy to even to the most pious visitor. Limited funding and wanton neglect have also taken their toll, most noticeably in the ‘Blessing of the Children’ scenes where small children are missing limbs and faces.

Sermon On The Mount as viewed through the armpit of one of his disciple's.

Sermon On The Mount as viewed through the armpit of one of his disciple’s.

Over the next 10 years before his death in 1961 at age 74, Martin created more than 35 statues from plaster, steel and concrete, including a 3-story, 125-ton bas-relief of The Last Supper. A window was installed behind the JC’s head, and a platform built providing an excellent opportunity for visitors to pose for a photo with the saviour.

Over the next 10 years before his death in 1961 at age 74, Martin created more than 35 statues from plaster, steel and concrete, including a 3-story, 125-ton bas-relief of The Last Supper. A window was installed behind the JC’s head, and a platform built providing an excellent opportunity for visitors to pose for a photo with the saviour.

His healing hands don't look like regular hands.

His healing hands don’t look like regular hands.

Double the Jesus/Double the Fun

Double the Jesus/Double the Fun

Relax

Relax

Jesus Prays

Jesus Prays

Praying for love and light.

Praying for love and light.

Fun with Jesus/Love You Bro

Fun with Jesus/Love You Bro

Tomb of Christ: "Look, Jesus melted!"

Tomb of Christ: “Look, Jesus melted!”

Rock Chapel

Rock Chapel

Rock Chapel memorial to a smoker.

Rock Chapel memorial to a smoker.

It may be small but its hella holy.

It may be small but its hella holy.

Shadow Sermon

Shadow Sermon

Shazam!

Shazam!

Don't you ever turn your back on god.

Don’t you ever turn your back on god.

Samaritan Women at Well/Motel Hell

Samaritan Women at Well/Motel Hell

Christ, Lazarus, Mary & Martha - It's a party!

Christ, Lazarus, Mary & Martha – It’s a party!

The Last Supper

The Last Supper

Suffer Not the Children

Suffer Not the Children

Rock Chapel Cross

Rock Chapel Cross

Put your hands up!

Put your hands up!

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That wore me out, time for a nap.

That wore me out, time for a nap.