Above photo, Pastor Bill Freeman blowing the Shofar.
March 2020 – The story of the Messiah is woven through every book of the Bible. Moreover, Christians recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah, the scarlet thread tying the Old Testament to the New. The first verses of Hebrews highlight that connection: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.”
Admittedly, many Christians steer clear of reading and studying Old Testament Scriptures, finding the New Testament easier to understand. But Promise Land Journey (PLJ), a ministry of Covenant Life Church (CLC) in Collinsville, Mississippi, is determined to build a bridge between old and new.
From passion to dream
Bill Freeman, pastor of CLC, loves preaching and teaching the Word, but he also loves traveling and ministering in Israel. In fact, Freeman is passionate about the land of the Bible, and from numerous mission-based journeys there, a dream was born to build a replica of the tabernacle of Moses here in the U. S.
With a decade of help from dedicated volunteers, Freeman’s vision became a 7,000-square-foot reality, first welcoming visitors in 2015. Located on a hill behind the modest red-brick church where Freeman and his wife Jo Anne have ministered for over 20 years, PLJ offers visitors a free opportunity to explore aspects of the Old Testament in a you-are-there setting.
“A lot of Christians are never able to visit Israel,” Freeman told AFA Journal. “This is a way we can bring a little bit of the Promise Land to them.”
Donned in authentic robed regalia of a mosaic high priest, Freeman shows visitors of all ages a realistic re-creation of the tabernacle, including full-scale replicas of temple furnishings.
From dream to ministry
Homeschool alliances and senior citizen groups from around the nation are frequent visitors to PLJ. Families schedule a stop on their way to beach vacation spots farther south, and churches often bring youth groups and Sunday school classes to tour the unique ministry site.
More than a tourist attraction though, PLJ is a virtual experience. In fact, Jo Anne Freeman describes her husband as a walking, talking Bible concordance. Throughout the tour, Freeman teaches with a deep knowledge and transparent love for his subject.
Totally unscripted yet fully authentic, Freeman quotes verse after verse to explain and teach about each temple artifact.
“I start with the Old Testament,” he said, “but I always bring it forward and tie everything to the New Testament
– to Jesus.”
That tie is the most impactful aspect of Freeman’s guided tour at Promise Land Journey. As he flawlessly connects historical Old Testament accounts to New Testament affirmation, he masterfully illustrates how prophecy met promise in the person of Jesus Christ.
A free tour of Promise Land Journey must be scheduled in advance. Call 601.986.8839 or visit promiselandjourney.org.