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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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
Natosha Carson started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,574 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.