Prepare to Meet God.

Prepare to Meet God

Field review by the editors.

Tazewell, Tennessee

"Prepare to Meet God" was inspired, both in style and substance, by the late Henry Harrison Mayes (1898-1986), who spent decades driving around the U.S. erecting giant roadside crosses. Mayes, a guerrilla evangelist, cast his multi-ton monuments in cement (usually with the phrases "Prepare to Meet God" and "Jesus Is Coming Soon"), hauled them cross-country in a home-built trailer, and rarely asked permission from property owners. Some of his crosses are displayed at the Museum of Appalachia, and one is here, flat on the ground, in front of the large corrugated tin letters.

Prepare to Meet God.

Mayes lived in a house shaped like a Christian cross about ten miles north of this ominous hillside display, whose fake graveyard strongly suggests that no one meets God and lives to tell about it.

The Tazewell Church of God, which owns the property, may have been attended by Mayes -- but he was notoriously nondenominational, visiting whatever church, synagogue, or temple happened to be nearby on his long road trips. He believed that his orders came direct from God, so all houses of worship were pretty much the same to him.

Mayes isn't buried here, but he is buried under one of his crosses, just north of the Tennessee-Kentucky state line.

Prepare to Meet God

Tazewell Church of God

3801 US-25E, Tazewell, TN
Tazewell Church of God. On the southbound side of US Hwy 25E, four miles north of Tazewell or 6.5 miles south of Harrogate. Hard to spot driving south.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

1930 Gulf Gas Station1930 Gulf Gas Station, Tazewell, TN - 4 mi.
Lincoln Museum on Rebel GroundLincoln Museum on Rebel Ground, Harrogate, TN - 6 mi.
House Made of CoalHouse Made of Coal, Middlesboro, KY - 10 mi.
In the region:
Museum of East Tennessee History, Knoxville, TN - 41 mi.

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