Amish carpenters nearing completion of life-sized Noah’s Ark


By Chad Dou and Mark Ellis

Ken Ham
Ken Ham

A mind-blowing full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark is nearing completion in Williamstown, KY, displaying the remarkable grandiosity of the all-wood colossus.

While Noah and his family spent 100 years toiling on the ark, Ken Ham and his construction team — including dozens of Amish carpenters — will have taken five years by the time they are finished in July and it opens to the public.

Ken Ham walks around exterior of ark
Ken Ham walks around exterior of ark

“We want to reach millions more about the truth in the Gospel, the words of God,” said Ham, who is also the founder of the Creation Museum located 40 miles from the Ark. “I believe that the Ark of Noah is the greatest reminder we have for salvation.”

At 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high, the replica is so big it actually shatters previous records — becoming the biggest all-timber structure in the world, according to Ham.

To mount the massive construction, Ham employed several dozen Amish carpenters to apply their traditional carpentry skills to meet the Genesis specs. The interior of the ark will have three stories and 130 exhibits, including animal specimen and statues of Noah.

The Ark Encounter website hopes the project will dispel the aura of childhood fantasy that is associated with the

interior of ark
interior of ark

Ark story. “We consider the fairy-tale ark that appears in the drawings, kids’ books and toys, looking like a bathtub with the giraffes’ heads sticking out and modern animals on board, to be dangerous. The biblical account of the Ark and the Flood is not a fun story about an old man and lots of cute animals. It’s about God judging an exceedingly wicked world while sparing a righteous man, his family, and representatives of the land animals from destruction.”

The looming structure does much to rest the unease of any critical reader of the Genesis account of Noah: “How was Noah able to feed the animals? How could he deal with the waste?” Ham asked. “We want to show the feasibility of the Ark.”

model of ark
model of ark

Mark Looy is the co-founder of the website Answers in Genesis that works with the Ark Encounter. “The immensity of this structure – over 500 feet long – I would call it a jaw-dropping experience,” said Looy.

Ham was a high school science teacher in Australia who would rue museum visits with his students because all the exhibits advocated the theory of evolution. God planted the vision one day of building a museum that could proclaim the truths of the Bible with scientific backing.

“We’re not forcing the Christian message on the public, but this exhibit is going to be there for them,” Ham said. “And if people just go away saying ‘Hmm, maybe I need to look into this. Maybe I need to consider what the Bible says.’“

The official opening will be July 7, 2016. “We want the day to be special,” says Ham. “In Gen. 7:7, it says that’s ark-with-logo-bugwhen Noah and his family entered the ark.”

Ham foresees 2 million visitors yearly from all over the world. “It will be a global attraction. It will probably be the greatest Christian outreach of our era in history.”

Ark Encounter will ultimately include a petting zoo and a huge restaurant to handle large crowds, Ham said. A theme park is envisioned as profits can be reinvested.

“Over the years, we’re also going to recreate other events from the Book of Genesis and even the Book of Exodus,” Looy told CBN News. “We’ll get into other events of biblical history, like the Tower of Babel and also the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea.”

Chad Dou is a student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.


  1. I find that this is a sad waste of money and a very unbiblical achievement. Jesus said we were the light unto the world not replicas.

    Much of what he wants to accomplish can be done with using scale models and far less money. besides replicas cannot show Noah’s actual actions so we are still left wondering how the family handled it all.

  2. “Much of what he wants to accomplish can be done with using scale models” Indeed! In this case Ken Ham and team will be using a LIFE SIZE scale. However, if you insist on something smaller, then exactly what size scale would the bible require; half life size? quarter life size? 1/100th?. Would 90% of life size be ok? 80% The size of the scale isn’t really the issue. God shines his light through our lives so we can be a light to the lost. We do this in our everyday lives as teachers, business leaders, taxi drivers, plumbers, nurses and business people running theme parks based on biblical stories. We will be “still left wondering how the family handled it all”. True, just like we continue to wonder how Paul handled prison, Moses the desert wilderness for 40 years. In fact, how every bible person handled their daily life. Not knowing everything about the life of Noah wont reduce the impact of a life size Ark on those who visit. Let us work together to promote the gospel, be it by a life size model ark, quiet talks over cups of coffees, street witnessing or reaching out to the sick and dying.

    • Gigantic waste of money. Any thought of feeding the homeless, helping house children who have lost their parents; u know taking care of people instead of building something to make money for himself, so he can build more attractions, to make more money, etc., all in the name of “religion”? Doesn’t sound very Jesus-like

  3. Obviously those men were led to do this! As a Christian my cup runneth over for this project!

    • Yeah, led by money. They’re expecting 2 million visitors a year. Say $10 entry fee that’s 20 million dollars a year, recoup costs in 5. That’s not including drink and food sales and parking fees, etc.

      • It is NEVER a waste of money to reach the lost. One soul is worth more than all the money in the world!

  4. I don’t know how much public money was used to fund this project but to call it a waste of money is totally off the mark. The number of annual visitors, the jobs created, the conversation that will be created whether you are a believer or not I believe is worth the cost. Let’s not forget the numerous boondoggles of government/private partnerships projects all over this country that wastes billions of dollars with nothing to show for it.

  5. What an incredible venture! I would love to walk inside this Ark; God bless and willing I may see it in person one day. God bless all involved in its creation.

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