Local News

Southern Pines Museum Is Three Museums In One

Posted August 17, 2001

— Museum lovers can find a real treat down in Southern Pines: three museums in one all inside a Christian Bookstore.

"There's mostly people that come by and see the bear we have out front. We get a lot of schoolchildren that come by also. The focus of the museum is that it is a creation museum as opposed to an evolution museum," said Kent Kelly, who owns the museum.

You could call it the Kent Kelly museum, as a matter of fact. The displays reflect his personal passions: tools, taxidermy, natural wonders.

"It started out very small, with five animals. Now I have over 150. They are an incredible testimony to God's genius used to create animals," said Kelly.

The tools fit into the idea of creation -- after all, Jesus was a carpenter, even though he never used a claw hammer or other modern tools.

"All the levels you see in this case are prior to 1857," said Kelly, pointing to a display of levels.

More than 1,500 hammers, countless strands of barbed wire and a few jokes here and there.

"This is the only tool a lawyer needed in the old days, to open letters and take out the money for his services," said Kelly, pointing to a letter opener.

The museum is a winding corridor of stuff, not a single inch wasted, not a single day wasted.

"I was pastor here in Southern Pines for about 22 years, and then I had a stroke that partially paralyzed me and I've been totally disabled now for about 11 years. But I used that 11 years to put together this museum," said Kelly.

Kelly's Christian Bookstore and Musem is in downtown Southern Pines. Admission is whatever you think the visit is worth. The curator relies on donations.


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