Former president George W. Bush addressed an estimated 200 civic and business leaders in Dallas at an event to raise awareness about the Museum of the Bible project in Washington, D.C. During the discussion, Bush emphasized how much the Bible was an integral part of his daily life as president.
"I read the Bible every day during my presidency," said Bush, who shared the stage with Hobby Lobby President and Museum of the Bible Chairman Steve Green.
"The easiest time to be faithful is during a time of crisis. The hardest time for faith is when all is well. Faith informed my principles and decisions, but not my tactics. It would give me strength, but I didn't use my faith to make decisions. Freedom is a faith informed principle," the former commander-in-chief said Sunday.
Museum of the Bible COO Cary Summers told The Christian Post that Sunday's event at the George W. Bush Library and Museum was not a fundraising event, but rather, "a gathering of influential business and civic leaders who came to hear leaders of Museum of the Bible share their vision for the museum."
"Two similar events have been held in Oklahoma City this year, and we will be holding similar events in other cities across the nation over the next few years," Summers added.
Scheduled to open in 2017, the Museum of the Bible will feature religious artifacts said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Bible museum project was an effort that began five years ago when Green started collecting ancient religious manuscripts, including papyri, Torahs and Bibles, from all over the world. In 2012 he purchased a 430,000-square-foot building near Capitol Hill for $50 million, which is being renovated to house the museum's collection.
Bush also shared his thoughts about the Museum of the Bible's opening and its location in the nation's capital. "The museum is a great idea. It's very important that the Museum of the Bible invites and makes people of all faiths feel comfortable. It will be an important part of our capital."
Summers told CP that the planned location, the Washington Design Center in Southwest Washington, was selected in large part because the nation's capital is "the museum capital of the world."
"Because the city is known as a destination for world-class museums, studies conducted by the museum team found that the Museum of the Bible would be best attended in Washington as opposed to other cities," such as New York City or Dallas, she added.
According to the museum fact sheet, once completed the Museum of the Bible will include eight floors and a basement that will house more than 500 biblical texts and artifacts; one rooftop biblical garden; permanent exhibits on the history, impact and narrative of the Bible; libraries and museum galleries; and will be open to 60 seminaries and universities worldwide whose students will be conducting research on the Green family's collection.
The Museum of the Bible's traveling exhibits have been featured throughout the world since 2011. According to the museum's website, "As of 2014, traveling exhibits have visited five U.S. cities and four other countries."