Reopen the Minister's Tree House to the public in Crossville, Tennessee!!
  • Petitioned Cumberland County & State's Fire Marshall's Office

This petition was delivered to:

Cumberland County & State's Fire Marshall's Office

Reopen the Minister's Tree House to the public in Crossville, Tennessee!!

    1. Natosha Carson
    2. Petition by

      Natosha Carson

      Crossville, TN

Horace Burgess is a humble man, he followed what he felt was divine instruction from God. He built the world's largest tree house. "I built it for everybody. It's God's treehouse. He keeps watch over it," said Burgess, who received his inspiration in a vision that came to him in 1993. "I was praying one day, and the Lord said, 'If you build me a treehouse, I'll see you never run out of material."' It rises 97 feet into the sky, the support provided by a live, 80-foot-tall white oak 12 feet in diameter at its base. Six other trees brace the tower-like fortress, but Burgess says its foundation is in God. After an August 7 inspection, the state ordered Horace Burgess to lock his gates. The state gave this reasoning, "It has become an area attraction and is therefore required to comply with adopted building codes..." However, there are no building codes provided for tree houses. No codes for tree houses are found in the International Building Codes or safety standards the county uses to regulate structures. Yet, they claim he must meet these codes to reopen his private tree house, that has been built on his private property. He does not charge admission to see the tree house nor fees to use the tree house for weddings or other activities. The state lists eight offenses including; exceeding allowable height by sixty feet, uneven decking and steps, fall hazards resulting from no guardrails, no obvious exit signs, and no fire alarm, sprinkler system or fire extinguisher. These are codes for other structures, NOT tree houses. Area people support Horace and his genuine journey to follow what he deemed to be God's guidance. If Cumberland County wishes to impose building codes on a private structure then they should do it unbiased, and impose them on ALL structures. It is unfair to punish someone because their expression of devotion to their God has touched so many lives and spread their message to so many that it has became a popular attraction.
Horace is a humble man that has touched our lives, now this community is willing to rally around him! The tree house should be reopened! Edmund Burke is quoted as saying, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." I believe with enough signatures and voices we can make Cumberland County listen so once again people will be able to look and see a representation of religious freedom that speaks for itself. Once again we want to climb to the top of this amazing structure. From this vantage point and others, visitors can see a garden where Burgess has used daffodils, irises, narcissus, gladiolas and wild daisies to spell out the letters J-E-S-U-S.
"The whole message of the thing is if you come to see the site and climb to the top, you'll see Jesus in the garden, and the preacher didn't have to say a word," Burgess says, smiling broadly.
My name is Natosha Carson and I proudly support Horace, his tree house, and his personal freedom to follow what he believes is right. Sign this petition, band with others that refuse to allow politics dictate their religious journey and personal freedoms.

A special thank you to Mrs. Sandie Reeves of Crossville, TN for sharing the amazing photo we have on our petition page!

Please send in any images you'd like to share of the tree house! So we might use them to further our cause! You can email them to reopenthetreehouse@gmail.com!

The interviews I quoted were not done by myself, I claim no ownership  they can be found at the following links:http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2007-07-29-treehouse-church_N.htm

http://www.wbir.com/rss/article/233006/2/Hundreds-turned-away-from-closed-tree-house-attraction?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,500 signatures
    2. Tune in AM 850 WKVL Sat. morning @ 10:00 for "House Matters"

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Mr. Burgess has given myself & Marijo his blessing to take the reins in this cause. Tomorrow I am going on a local radio talk show to spread awareness & answer questions about safety concerns. Be sure to tune in AM 850 WKVL Sat. morning @ 10:00 for "House Matters" with Jesse Katz. The call in week is being scheduled & I will post the list soon. Also, will be calling volunteers for help in upcoming planned community activities so if you want to help please let me know!! Please keep spreading the word about the petition!!

    3. Starting To Call Volunteers!!! Get On The List!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Not trying to make you guys suffer from anticipation, but keep a close eye on this page & the Minister's Tree House Petition page on Facebook this coming week:) Lots of things will be happening, new actions to be taken, new updates on the situation!! We will really need to pull together & get some work done in the coming weeks :) It's exciting!! But it is going to take a lot of team effort and working together!!! If anyone is interested in volunteering for helping with any thing that's coming up. Please pm me what you might be interested in, times & days you are available, skills you have that would be an asset, maybe even professional experience. Also, include any ideas you may have for an upcoming event. Email me @ reopenthetreehouse@gmail.com!!!! If you need to speak with someone via the telephone please use the movement's contact phone @ (615) 358-TREE or (615) 358-8733! Please pass this message on to others in the community!

    4. Article Captured The Heart Of Our Cause! This one is SPECIAL!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Allow me to encourage everyone, DO NOT get discouraged because we haven't heard anything from the State Fire Marshall's Office. People are still talking about the cause, signing the petition, offering support, new venues of action are being created & explored! Share the petition, the Facebook group, contact phone number & email allowing people to contact OUR cause asking questions or addressing concerns!! The article released today, by Metro Pulse writer Paige Huntoon, honestly reduced me to tears. Paige really captured the heart of what the petition, the group, and I personally, truly wish to share, all the while representing Horace's personal desire for the kind of movement that supports him. Please read, then share!!
      http://www.metropulse.com/news/2012/sep/12/closed-repairs-petition-drive-hopes-rally-support/

    5. Reached 2,000 signatures
    6. Contact Information For Getting In Touch With Our Cause

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      A phone number has been set up to answer any questions, take suggestions, let people reach out or volunteer. (615)358-TREE or you can reach us by email at reopenthetreehouse@gmail.com. We also suggest checking out the Facebook group The Minister's Tree House petition, they are a great group & working together with us !! As a community we can have our voices heard & the tree house be reopened safely to the public!! If you do not get an answer please, please, leave us a voicemail & be patient I promise you'll get a call back!!

    7. What Now? Phase 2 :)!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      I know everyone has been waiting to hear what Horace had to say & what is next! So here it is! I talked to Horace for a long time today, we talked about what was going on, what we could do, etc. He spoke with the Fire Marshall's today asking that they work with him, they of course said they'd get back to him. For now, Horace would like to hold off on fundraising to focus on trying to get the State to work WITH us to reopen the tree house. We have been invited to have a booth at the Annual Fall Harvest Festival in Pikeville on October 6th. Also, we are in the process of arranging a call in week from Oct 8-12. Each day everyone is asked to call a different office asking for them to encourage the Fire Marshall's to redact or reopen the tree house. A list of the person we are going to call & the date will be posted on here & on the Facebook group Minister's Tree House Petition. We ask that you continue to share our cause, come out to the Festival & participate in our Call In Week!

    8. Horace Burgess, Builder of Tree House Meeting With Fire Marshall Today!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Latest news!! Horace plans to meet with the Fire Marshall today! I'm going to speak with Horace later to see how he'd like to proceed with our cause. If he chooses to fight legally, by hiring an architect, or simply making improvements, we are going to help fund it!! I will post the link to those fundraising actions and community projects where you can help support the cause following the meeting with Horace. Check back here daily for news updates and ways to help! I want each and every person to know how thankful I am for your support, what an honor it is to have been able to read your stories, see your pictures, and get to know what amazing people we have not only in the State of TN but all of the world. I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart, I've been moved to tears more than once in the last week.
      http://www.wate.com/story/19497518/crossville-community-members-work-to-save-massive-treehouse

    9. Officially World's Largest Tree House Says Guinness Book of World Records!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Guinness Book of World Records said in an email to Huffington Post,"that builder Horace Burgess can replace "unofficial" with "official."
      http://article.wn.com/view/2012/06/20/Worlds_Largest_Treehouse_Ministers_Treehouse_In_Crossville_T/
      Keep spreading the word guys!!! It is amazing how many people are speaking out to reopen the tree house!!

    10. Reached 1,500 signatures
    11. Read Latest News About Our Cause In The Crossville Chronicle!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Today the Crossville Chronicle published a story about our cause!! Please read it and continue to show support for our cause!!! We will continue to work until the tree house is OPEN to the public!!!!
      Read the article here: http://crossville-chronicle.com/local/x2056632079/State-Fire-Marshal-orders-Treehouse-closed

    12. Our Cause on Yahoo News!!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Our cause made Yahoo News today!!! It is amazing what a change we are making!!! Read the story here: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/100-foot-tall-tree-house-shut-down-until-200023666.html
      Please keep sharing the petition!!

    13. A Phone Call With Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-TN 15th District)

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Just finished speaking to the office of Sen. Charlotte Burks office via telephone. I asked them to help us with our cause, to encourage the State's Fire Marshall's Office to work with us on writing NEW codes for the tree house!! Also, that we are wanting to make this a POSITIVE example of our State Government & Officials working with the people here in Tennessee!! Too many people feel like local and state officials do NOT care about everyday citizens, this is an AMAZING chance to help change that perception!! The young lady I spoke to was very courteous, kind, and listened patiently. She is taking our issue to Sen Charlotte Burks and also Rep Cameron Sexton's office!! They are going to get back with us on our cause! Please, reach out to them in a POSITIVE supportive way!! Let them know that we want to work WITH them, not against!! We can make a change by working TOGETHER!!
      Sen Charlotte Burks: (615) 741-3978
      Rep Cameron Sexton: (615) 741-2343

    14. Reached 1,000 signatures
    15. Once Again State Says Bring It Up To Code! What Code? None Exist !

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Christopher Garrett, communications director with Department of Commerce and Insurance says, "We're willing to work with Mr. Burgess if it is his desire to have a design professional bring the structure into compliance with state code. We're perfectly willing to work with him to reach that condition." Yet the State Fire Marshall's Office admits no codes EXIST for this structure!! Please keep contacting them!! Ask them to take responsibility in helping us create the codes needed to reopen the tree house!
      http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/05/state-lists-safety-violations-in-closing-giant/

    16. Reached 500 signatures
    17. Read The Official Letter Closing Down The Tree House & Email The Author!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      We have been given permission to share the official letter sent from the State's Fire Marshall's Office to Horace Burgess closing down the tree house. I encourage everyone to read it, then contact the State's Fire Marshall's Office!! Earlier today on the phone they admitted these codes were NOT for this particular kind of structure because none actually EXIST! I requested that they work with Horace & this community to create codes specific to the Tree House. Then I wrote an email directly to the person that had written the letter, asking them to reach out to us!! To Work With Us! Let's encourage them to reach out to us! This is a chance for our Government to Listen to & Help its people!! Wasn't that the reason for the creation of Government??!!
      Read the letter here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bzf7E0pecKLcVkNxbnBFQjZhTVk
      Write an email to the gentleman here: christopher.bainbridge@tn.gov

    18. Reached 250 signatures
    19. A Phone Call With The State's Fire Marshall's Office!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Just finished speaking with the State's Fire Marshall's Office. I relayed to them that while I understood their position on the public's safety, that I felt it was unfair to impose building codes of other structures onto the Tree House. That they were missing the chance to work with Horace and our community to create new codes that not only allowed for public safety but also the reopening of the Tree House. That the community desires to work with them to any degree possible to make this happen!! This petition & cause is a positive message not a negative one! Call the State's Fire Marshall's Office tell them you'd like the Tree House reopened and why! The number is (615) 741-2981.

    20. Another News Story in less than 24 hours!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      Knoxville News has a story today about our cause & petition!! You are the most amazing people!! Keep up the good work and keep spreading the cause!! Read the article here:
      http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/04/giant-crossville-treehouse-151-inspired-by-god/

    21. Over 200 Signatures & A Local News Story in under 24 hours!!

      Natosha Carson
      Petition Organizer

      In less than 24 hours of posting the petition we already have over 200 hundred signatures!! People all over the United States asking that the tree house not only be reopened but stories as to why it matters so much. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to sign and share this petition along with sharing why it is important to you!!! This morning I was contacted by a local reporter asking for a statement as to why I started the petition on change.org. They are working on a story that will be in the Crossville Chronicle! Please keep spreading the word about the petition & our cause!! You are all making a difference!

    22. Reached 200 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • rosie rainwater MONTEREY, TN
      • almost 2 years ago

      I love going to the tree house and its an adventure for the kids.. It is a tree house and should be safe to run about. So I think we should help fix it up a little bit. And I agree "enter at your own risk' should be put up as well.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • James Stewart CROSSVILLE, TN
      • about 2 years ago

      Government overeach

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carolyn Francis HOPKINSVILLE, KY
      • about 2 years ago

      I visited the tree house in May of 2012

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Elaine Weeden COOKEVILLE, TN
      • about 2 years ago

      Very interesting place..great for the kids....so much work went into it and it honors Jesus to boot!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • joanne jensen SPARTA, TN
      • about 2 years ago

      such a unique landmark should be available to everyone.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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