THE JESUS TREE
Photo by Marilyn Ferguson ©1998
"The life size figure of Jesus Christ protrudes mysteriously
from a knotted growth on an aging pin birch tree
that is approximately 150 years old. It is worth the visit to this
tiny Roman Catholic Cemetery located in
Quincy, Illinois USA (pop. 40,000)
Quincy is nestled in West Central Illinois along the
Mississippi River. A cemetery worker first discovered
the phenomenon several years ago. He stood in awe upon
making the discovery and kept the secret to himself for several
days before sharing it with others. The miraculous image
cannot be fully appreciated unless one stands at a certain
distance and angle thereby explaining why the figure had
not been discovered earlier. Both the Quincy Herald-Whig
newspaper and KHQA television station ran stories on it
and provided coverage. When word got out people flocked
to the cemetery to see the spectacular site. According to
Ruby Cookson, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Cemetery
Association nearly 2,000 people were visiting daily and
in a very short time, the guest book located next to the tree
had acquired over 30,000 signatures, however, many people
visiting did not sign. As of July 1998 there were signatures
from 48 states including Alaska and Hawaii and 20 foreign
countries. The tree which has acquired the name of "The Jesus Tree"
is also known by many in the area as "The Good Shepherd Tree."
A fence was placed around the tree to provide some
protection because people were peeling pieces of bark from
the tree to take home as souvenirs. There was also concern
because the grounds around the tree had been worn bare by
the many thousands of visitors who visited each week. People
have hung crosses on the image, others have laid bouquets
of flowers at the foot, and some have gone so far as to leave
stuffed animals and photos of loved ones. The first time
I visited the site, I immediately saw what everyone had
been talking about. Here was a life size figure of Jesus
embedded within a huge knot in an old tree. One can quickly
see the image of Jesus cradling what appears to be a lamb.
The head of the lamb is visible directly above the folded
arms of Jesus. Jesus is attired in a long robe and has a staff
beside Him, which seems to be leaning on the right side
of the tree. It was very obvious to me that the tree has been
untouched as far as anyone trying to alter its make up in order
for it to appear the way it does. Has it evolved through natural
means or perhaps through some divine intervention?
Feelings are varied but most walk away with a lingering
thought in their minds and that is the figure of Jesus
does seem to be outlined in the bark and protruding from
the knot of the tree. One of the notes that stood out in the
guest book was that of a mysterious fellow who visited on Sept. 05, 1998.
Could this man have been a Messenger sent from God????
Please take a moment to read the words he wrote as shared
with me by Ruby Cookson, a spokesman for the
Roman Catholic Cemetery Assn. in Quincy, Illinois.
9/5/98 "Teach repentance and the remission of sin in this
country that has turned its back on God (even to the point
of condoning same sex marriages). I tell you to prepare
for the coming of Jesus Christ. The hand of God will deal
with this vile perverseness. God said, "If you belong to me,
you will bring up My name." Without delays seek Jesus Christ
more than you have ever considered doing so. Understand
the only power the devil has is the power you give him. God
doesn't care about yesterday. Come to His Son with true
repentance today. If you continue putting Him off, you will
surely go to Hell. God said to take a strong stand against
evil, so do it! Sometimes love requires correction.
Be gentle and be firm with God's law and understand there
is no middle place. You are either for or against Our Lord.
Pray for the entire world that they may seek Jesus. Condemn
no one but understand there is no middle place. You are either
for or against Our Lord. Pray for the entire world that
they may seek Jesus. Condemn no one but understand a time
may come when you need to kick the dust from your feet.
Love, Peace & Calm
A homeless man with an Angel
If anyone should decide to take a trip to view this tree,
I strongly suggest that they stand about 15 or 20 feet
away from the figure at the N.E. corner where it is roped off.
From this location you will receive the best view. I recently
had a fellow e-mail me to ask me if perhaps the figure
had been nailed to the tree. My reply to him was that this
was completely natural and untouched by anyone. The figure
blends in perfectly with the grain of the wood. Strangely enough,
when standing next to the tree, the figure appears completely
invisible and looks like nothing more than a big knotted growth,
however, when you stand back a ways, the figure just seems to
jump out at you. It's rather remarkable, I think.
©2003 Marilyn Ferguson
To See More
"Jesus Tree Photo's"
I asked a few of my personal acquaintances and family
members their thoughts on the tree.
Here are some of their responses:
Wake up call for us before it's too late.
Jesus wants all of us to come to Him and be saved.
Hopefully with this and other signs, more people will be saved.
Quite taken in by the site. It could mean a number of things.
The figure is quite interesting. It has been said "the Lord's
handiwork is all over creation and I would say that the
tree is a good example.
It's hard to decipher the meaning of the tree.
The tree certainly looks like the figure of Jesus.
You can definitely see the figure of Jesus in the tree.
It's a special tree.
People are always looking for a sign from God. They probably
believe if they can touch it, it will cure them or do away
with their sins. It is a wonder.
The figure is so cool!
The tree is a reminder that Jesus is watching over us.
Evelyn Taylor: The figure of Christ looks exactly
as the Bible pictures Him.
Coincidence, phenomenon or miraculous discovery
you decide???? If you have a moment...... e-mail me your thoughts.
There is no charge to view the "Jesus Tree" and the
cemetery is open to the public from 7:00 a.m. until dark.
It can be viewed at the following location:
Roman Catholic Cemetery
1730 North 18th St.
Quincy, Illinois 62301
United States of America
Phone # 217-223-3390 or 217-223-3395
Marilyn Ferguson ©2002
SPECIAL NOTE: This page and fact that I took this
photo in a Roman Catholic Cemetery does not in any way
indicate my religious preference. It was placed here solely
with the intent of planting a seed of faith in the minds of
those seeking to find some visible evidence that Christ does
indeed exist in a world where there is so much uncertainty.
One thing is for certain! Jesus is as alive today as He was
in Biblical times if we will only seek Him! It is my firm
belief that God will not discriminate against all forms of
religions. I do believe, however, that the road to heaven is
narrow but there will be other denominations also lining the
entrance to heaven. We will all go before Him and give an
account of our lives. I believe the 'day of reckoning' is drawing
closer with each breath we take and I take a firm stance in the
fact that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
John 14:6 KJV
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh the Father, but by me.
"You'll Never Walk Alone"