Minister’s Tree House

the-ministers-treehouse-crossville-tn-1Long live the world’s largest treehouse!

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.

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 has 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.  Without blueprints, this unique church resembles an epic tree house pinned up by cross boards and nails.  Random wood boards add quirky flair to the architecture, adding random patterns to the disarray of the design.  Multiple levels of corridors and rooms make up the inside of the tree house. It all comes together to form an impressive construct reminiscent of something from a fairy tail book.

This 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.  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 has been temporarily closed by a local Fire Marshall.  Therefore, you can not climb up into the tree house, but you can still view it from the outside.

The place is getting a little old, but it’s free for everyone to come and enjoy. It’s great for kids young and old!  It is about 2 1/2 hours from the Sevierville area.

Courtesee:  Atlas Obscura

Address:  Beehive Lane, Crossville, TN 38571


I-40 exit 320. Turn north onto Hwy 298, then make an immediate right at the stoplight onto Cook Rd. Drive almost a mile. As the road takes a sharp right, instead make a sharp left onto Beehive Lane. Drive about a half-mile. The pavement will end, but keep driving. You’ll see the tree house ahead and to the right. Remember that when you visit, you will be trespassing, and that the treehouse is not a funhouse. There are no safety precautions. You visit at your own risk.