CARTHAGE, Mo. — We could probably spend our lives exploring Missouri and not see everything. Chances are we don’t even know all of the amazing things there are to see and to do all across the state, which makes uncovering a hidden gem a lot like Christmas morning. When it comes to hidden gems, the Precious Moments Chapel in Missouri is one of those lesser-known places that has wowed and inspired visitors for years.

Aside from visitors, this Chapel in the Ozarks has caught the attention of one publication, whose author found it to be a truly special place. “Only In Your State,” a website that highlights little-known attractions and natural wonders from all 50 states in the U.S., calls Precious Moments, “One of the most stunning, lesser-known places in the U.S.” They also claim, “There’s no chapel in the world like this one.”

“Speaking with our guests on many occasions, I am completely in awe at the words people use to describe the Precious Moments Chapel, such as, ‘peaceful, inspirational, quiet, and hope-filled.’ Some even say that it’s like they get their battery recharged when they come to visit the Chapel and the surrounding grounds,” said Precious Moments Foundation, Vice President, Mishell Hoover.

SLIDESHOW: View Photos Of The Precious Moments Chapel

Since its opening in 1989, Precious Moments Chapel has welcomed millions of visitors. A beautiful vision by artist and Precious Moments creator, Sam Butcher, the Chapel was inspired by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Rome. Located just outside of Carthage, in scenic Southwest Missouri, the chapel is adorned by amazing murals, angels, stained glass, and other artwork by Butcher. It sits on beautifully landscaped grounds with gardens and statues that “truly evoke a feeling of peace and tranquility,” according to

The Chapel features 84 hand-painted murals that cover 9,000 square feet of walls and ceiling. The innocent, child-like Precious Moments characters depict stories from the bible. The large mural that serves as the centerpiece of the Chapel is “Hallelujah Square,” which depicts Mr. Butcher’s vision of Heaven as a place of reunion and joy.

“The Chapel itself is a gift that Mr. Butcher wanted to give back. He focused on giving back to God for all of the talent and the gifts that he had given him, especially with the success of Precious Moments and being able to touch people’s lives in such a positive way. Ironically, it wasn’t planned to be in Carthage, Missouri. He was on a business trip, and he had prayed about it many times, and he felt like he was led here to build this beautiful place,” said Hoover.

There are 30 intricate stained-glass windows that grace the Chapel. It was built with exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, which can be seen not only inside, but outside, with the elaborate design of the ironwork gates, hand-carved entry doors, and bronze work.

The Precious Moments Chapel is surrounded by beautiful gardens and grounds that include fountains and statues, many of them dedicated by donations and given in memory of loved ones who have passed.

Timmy The Angel — “For God So Loved The World” (Photo courtesy: Precious Moments Chapel)

“As an employee here, I work in the office, but when I’ve finished my work for the day, sometimes I find myself going out for a walk on our property, and I’ll go into the chapel and just sit for a little bit. When I do that, all of the noise from the busy world we live in, and all of the distractions just kind of go away for a while. I can’t think of a better place to find peace,” said Hoover.

You can find more information on the Precious Moments Chapel, HERE.