The immersive experience is being developed by the award-winning firm Local Projects, which recently spearheaded the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York. It ranks as one of the most innovative design agencies in the nation.
Entrance and Lobby
Approaching the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center from Independence Mall or Market Street, guests see a towering sculpture of light shooting into the sky out of the main lobby—making a powerful statement about the light of God’s Word and creating a landmark destination at one of the most trafficked intersections in Philadelphia.
Guests enter a lobby that is bright, sleek, and spacious. The name of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is prominently displayed along the south wall and a large sculpture towers through the roof in the center of the room. Before entering the first gallery, guests pass an overview panel along a curved partition, giving them a feel for what they’ll experience inside the experience.
The lobby sculpture is comprised of three intertwined surfaces, representing the three documents essential to the founding of the United States—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bible. The core values from these documents are carved into the sculpture’s edges, symbolizing the inseparable relationship between these documents.
The sculpture stretches from the interior of the lobby into the sky through a large opening that allows natural light to pour into the lobby. Guests can look up through the sculpture and see the sky above.
Guests receive a handheld digital lamp, which they use to interact and engage throughout their experience. Guests use their dockable lamps to collect their favorite stories from the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, extending the impact of their visit back home as they share inspiring memories with friends, family, and church groups.
Faith and Liberty Trail and Garden
The doorstep of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center serves as a central thruway on the proposed Faith and Liberty Trail, connecting several historic and religious sites in Old City Philadelphia, including Christ Church, the church at the heart of the American Revolution; Congregation Mikveh Israel, the oldest continuous synagogue in the United States; and the Independence Visitor Center. A beautiful public garden and walkway provide an inspirational space for fellowship and reflection—an invaluable gift to the city of Philadelphia and the guests visiting our historic neighborhood.
Platform and Entertainment Stage
A stage in the heart of the public garden serves as an outdoor classroom and is the perfect venue for small concerts and events in historic Philadelphia.
Freedom of Faith
This gallery explores how faith and the Bible played an integral role in creating the radical experiment of America. Five narratives, representing five unique naming opportunities, explore themes of change, conflict, and crisis in the development of a new nation.
A welcome experience introduces guests to the shared values enshrined in America’s founding documents and the Bible. An immersive experience introduces the founders’ vision for America and their quest for religious liberty.
A Holy Experiment in Philadelphia
The Bible inspired William Penn with the vision for a new American colony defined by religious liberty and brotherly love—a vision that is still inspiring leaders today.
A Great Awakening
Innovative preachers, such as George Whitefield, inspired American colonists to engage the Scriptures without an intermediary, a practice that transformed the culture through the life-changing message of God’s Word.
Igniting a New Nation
Colonists became increasingly controlled by the English monarchy and sought a war of independence in defense of their rights. The American founders ultimately crafted a Constitution inspired in part by the Bible. The Constitution established a new order for liberty and a bold experiment in self- government predicated upon faith-based public virtue.
America’s First Freedom: Religious Liberty
The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights further restrained the government from prohibiting religious belief and worship. It also prohibited any notion of a national church, fostering a legacy of religious liberty in America.
“Let justice flow like a stream, and righteousness like a river that never goes dry.”
AMOS 5:24 (GNT)
The Spirit of Liberty
This gallery explores how biblically-inspired individuals from the 17th century to the present day worked to expand America’s religious, political, civil, and economic liberties.
The Pursuit of Justice
This gallery explores America’s complex path toward justice. Interactive displays and inspiring imagery will show how Americans have looked to the Bible for guidance amid conflicts such as slavery, voting rights, war, and immigration.
The Reality of Hope
This gallery will showcase how people in our nation turn to the Bible in times of great crisis. A central reflection theater and interactive testimonies will portray national and personal crises in the United States, championing the heroes whose biblical faith inspired them to sacrificially help others in their time of need.
The Beauty of Unity
In this gallery, guests will reflect on the inspirational content collected in their digital lamps, making connections between their experience at the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center and the challenges facing our world today. This gives guests a chance to act on God's Word for the good of our nation.
Guests stroll through the streets of historic Philadelphia, where faith became liberty’s guiding light toward justice. “Liberty’s Light” will bring to life William Penn’s Bible-based vision—a community defined by religious liberty and brotherly love. Life-like media projections will amaze guests as they step into inspiring stories from Philadelphia’s history. Guests can also unlock additional interactive content with their handheld lamps.
Rare Artifact Cases
Treasure cases throughout the galleries display artifacts of significant religious and historical impact, such as Hellen Keller’s Bible.
Lounge & Takeaway Tables
Cutting-edge touchscreen tables allow guests to customize beautiful gifts—such as posters, jewelry, and phone cases—with their favorite historical quotes and Scripture verses from the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, so that guests carry the spiritual impact of their visit back home with them.
The concourse level of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is a sleek and inspiring learning space comprised of two classrooms, a whiteboard brainstorming room, and a display showcasing the mission of American Bible Society. Here guests, students, and ministry partners dig deeper into the mission of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center through seminars, brainstorm sessions, and exploration of the latest Scripture engagement resources.
American Bible Society Mission Space
An exhibit in the lower level of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center introduces guests to the ministry of American Bible Society, mobilizing them in our mission to see 100 million Americans actively engaging with God’s Word and 100 percent of the world’s languages open to Scripture engagement by the year 2026.
In addition to providing a world-class experience for guests, the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center offers education and ministry leaders state-of-the-art classrooms for churches, school groups, lecture series, and community events.