A Hidden Replica of Jesus’s Tomb in Covington

Reverend Morris Coers, of Covington’s Immanuel Baptist Church, thought everyone should experience the Garden Tomb, even if they couldn’t travel to Israel.
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Photograph by Wes Battoclette

Just before the Crown Pointe apartment complex on Edgecliff Street in Covington sits a lush lookout point. Stellar views of Cincinnati’s skyline aren’t all you’ll find here. This peaceful 2.5-acre plot of land called the Garden of Hope features a replica of the Garden Tomb, an ancient rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem that many believe is the site of Jesus’s burial and resurrection. Who’s responsible for creating this outdoor place of prayer? Reverend Morris Coers, a former pastor of Covington’s Immanuel Baptist Church. According to the garden’s hand-painted sign, Coers visited the Garden Tomb in 1938 and was “so moved by the experience, [he] became determined to build a replica” in Covington for those who couldn’t travel to Israel. Twenty years later (and two years before Coers died), the garden was complete. The property, which remains open to the public, also features a marble statue of Jesus delivering the “Sermon on the Mount,” a carpenter’s shop, a chapel modeled after a 17th century Spanish Mission, and a stone from Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall. Today, a local resident maintains the garden and offers free tours (call 859-491-1777 24 hours in advance). For a more spiritual visit, attend a nondenominational service at Easter or Sundays at 11 a.m.

Click through our gallery to view more photos of the Garden of Hope:

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