As Minister Horace Burgess tells the story, in 1993, the Minister was praying when God told him, “If you build a tree house, I’ll see that you never run out of material.” Inspired by this vision, the quiet Minister set out to build the largest treehouse in the world.
Located just outside of Crossville, Tennessee, the 97-foot-tall tree house and church is supported by a still-living 80-foot-tall white oak tree with a 12-foot diameter base, and relies on six other oak trees for support.
For fourteen years, Minister Burgess has been adding to the tree house, spending $12,000 to build it. Over that time, the treehouse has grown to truly monumental proportions, and the Minister may have already achieved his goal of building the world's largest treehouse. Currently, his treehouse is 90 feet tall, with five stories containing 80 rooms, and is complete with a church and a bell tower. The bell tower at the top of the treehouse is equipped with oxygen acetylene bottles that, repurposed as bells, chime daily.
In southern style, every story of the treehouse is surrounded by a porch deck. There are no “Private Property,” or “No Climbing” signs posted around, Burgess say the treehouse is God's house and everyone is welcome. From the top of the treehouse the word "Jesus" can be seen spelled out in flora in a nearby field. As of 2012 the treehouse had been temporarily closed by a local Fire Marshall.
More photos of the Minister's Treehouse can be seen on Atlas Obscura