Over the past decade, the American Bible Society spent nearly $100 million to build and operate a state-of-the-art interactive museum in Philadelphia that explains the role of the Bible and a Christian worldview in the nation’s founding, as well as in the ongoing history of the nation.

At the end of this month, the museum will permanently close. The ABS will lay off the entire staff of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center (FLDC). The FLDC is a separate LLC, wholly owned by the American Bible Society. MinistryWatch was not able to confirm the number of employees impacted.

The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center opened in May of 2021. The 40,000 square-foot museum uses immersive, interactive displays to teach visitors the impact of the Bible on the men and women who built America, from the founding era until today. Construction costs were about $60 million. Total project costs over the past decade approached $100 million.

In 2021 the FLDC was awarded the Exhibition Design of the Year by Dezeen, an online magazine that annually recognizes the year’s best design and architectural projects.

Jennifer Holloran, the recently named president of the American Bible Society, sent an email to the ABS staff Wednesday that said, in part:

“This morning, I met with our faithful FLDC staff to tell them that the FLDC, in its current configuration, will close on April 1, 2024. The last public opportunity to visit the experience will be March 28. I know that our Board has wrestled with this possibility for quite some time, and the Board of Directors and I agreed at the February Board meeting that now is the time to proceed with this difficult but necessary action.

“The FLDC as conceived was a wonderfully innovative idea. That idea came with big possibilities and requirements to allow it to be functional in the long run. Unfortunately, despite the valiant efforts of our FLDC leadership and team, we have not been able to achieve the long-term sustainability that an experience like that needs to be successful.”

Alan Crippen was the Executive Director of the Faith and Liberty Initiative and the founding Director of Exhibits, Programs, and Public Engagement from 2016 to 2021. Read it all at Ministry Watch.