Samuel John Butcher
January 1, 1939
|Known for||Precious Moments|
|Spouse(s)||Kathie Yott Butcher|
Phillip Butcher (deceased)
Timothy Butcher (deceased)
Samuel "Sam" John Butcher (born January 1, 1939) is an American artist. He is mainly known as the artist behind the Precious Moments brand of characters based on American-Christian themes. He draws in oil, water-color, acrylic, and mixed-media.
With the guide of Reverend Royal Blue, Butcher made the decision to follow deeper into Christianity. He joined the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he met Bill Biel, with whom he would start his first business, Jonathan & David (J&D). During his ten-year career with the CEF, Butcher's work was seen by millions of people through the Tree House Club television programs.
In 1974, Butcher created Precious Moments drawings for J&D, which were introduced to the market a year later. Before that, Butcher created many other works, from kitsch oil paintings to comic strips. These works can be observed at the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.
The three major products carried by J&D were greeting cards, porcelain figurines, and vinyl dolls. J&D sourced its vinyl dolls in Asia, leading Butcher to the Philippines. In 1981 Butcher and Biel traveled to the Philippines, where they gave financial assistance to a Bible college.
Some time thereafter, Butcher and Biel ended their business relationship. J&D suspended its greeting card business, passed its porcelain products to Enesco, and stopped producing vinyl dolls. The doll business would be relaunched as Precious Moments Country Dolls in 1989 and renamed Precious Moments Company Dolls in 1992.
Butcher founded the Samuel J. Butcher Foundation and Precious Moments, Inc. In 1989, he completed the construction of the Precious Moments Chapel. He privately funded the purchase of land on an island in Aklan and built a resort called Sampaguita Gardens. Through this resort, Butcher provides employment and training opportunities for people from Aklan and students from other provinces in Western Visayas.
Later, Butcher moved to St. Charles, Illinois, and lived with his children.
As Precious Moments became more successful, Butcher began to spend more time at his resort in the Philippines. At the height of his popularity, Butcher fell ill due to strokes brought on by self-medicating. His children brought him back to the States, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated. He then returned to the Philippines.
Death of his sons
While Butcher was in the Philippines, his 27-year-old son Phillip was killed. Butcher was filled with grief and could not pursue his interests in art.
Butcher dealt with his grief by returning to art. He worked on paintings in what is now called Phillip's Room at the Chapel. According to Chapel employees who watched Butcher, "it was as though he was possessed by depression and anger. Finally, his body and mind could take it no more. Sam broke down, and stopped."
Butcher's children urged their father to take better care of himself, and took over all business responsibilities at PMI. Butcher left for the Philippines for an extended period.
His son Tim Butcher died on October 14, 2012, having been the inspiration for many Precious Moments pieces. Butcher built a Bell tower called "Timmy's Tower", in remembrance to his son  containing a poem Adam wrote
The sad loss of a loved one Can be so hard at times I understand because I lost Two precious sons of mine
I lost my way and wandered In a valley of despair Because my heavy burden Was too much for me to bear
But then I heard a still small voice So warm and tender It was the voice of Him, who said I’m here, just trust in me.
Then all at once, I felt a touch It was the hand of God So gentle, warm and soothing Like a balm in Gilead
We need not be afraid my friend When sorrow comes because The Lord will bless us and keep us By the power of His love.
– Samuel J Butcher, 10-12-15
As of 2012[update], Sam Butcher resided in the Philippines and his sons Jon and Don controlled PMI and most of his artistic assets.
Butcher makes appearances at the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage during the summer for Precious Moments Family Reunion events.
- "The History of Precious Moments, Part 1: Sam Butcher's Faithful Path to a Dream". February 2017.
- How We Started: Samuel J. Butcher's Story. http://preciousmoments.com/about/story/ (retrieved July 1, 2005).
- PMC 2005
-  Archived February 23, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
- Moments: the official publication of the Precious Moments Collectors' Club by PMI. October 2005.
- "赌博金沙送38彩金-澳门金沙官网网址|手机版登录". Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2006.
- "We Need Not Walk Alone". TCF Magazine Special Anniversary Edition. Loder, Wayne. 1999.http://www.tcfatlanta.org/Precious.html (retrieved March 14, 2006).
- "Timothy Butcher". The Oregonian.
- Butcher, Jon. Interview. Jun. 2004~Oct. 2004.
- Butcher, Sam & Butcher, Jon. Interview. Oct. 2004.
- Siytangco-Masigan, Sandee. "workbook: Precious Faith". August 31, 2004.
- CIO Insight. Precious Little Time. http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,1869514,00.asp (retrieved December 2005).