Greenback castle: the builder shares the end of time message | New
Greenback Castle has been called a lot of things: an oddity, a unique structure built with found materials, an unusual place with a reputation for being haunted. But for his builder, Floyd “Junior” Banks, it is a living sermon on the end times as predicted in the Bible, and he is a latter-day prophet warning people of the destruction to come as he is. still time to save their souls.
Banks, who calls the castle “Fortress of Faith” after a visitor who coined the term years ago, is as colorful as the structure he began to build nearly three decades earlier from. discarded materials he found or donated by friends. Now 75 years old and with a mane of white hair and an urgency to spread the gospel message, Banks continues to add items to the castle and generously distributes toys – also found or donated – as well as merchandise he he cultivates in the field. In addition to the cabbages and cucumbers from the castle garden, Banks has planted blueberries all around the castle.
âI love to see little kids picking blueberries,â he said, adding that visitors are free to take whatever they want. âI put a pantry up there,â Banks said. âI have a little sign, ‘Castle Pantry, free food.’ I do all I can for people.
In the past year, nearly 7,000 visitors have visited the castle, Banks said. âWhen you look at the guestbook, there’s a page that has nine out-of-state cars. It’s a record. This is the largest number of out-of-state cars that have been on one page.
Some international visitors, from Russia, Canada and even Ukraine, were recorded in the book, he said.
No entry fee is charged, but a donation box is set up for those who want to help.
The building itself spans over 200 feet and is 25 feet tall. It contains over 30 rooms, some with a roof, others without. Visitors will see walls constructed of bottle and mortar in addition to cinder blocks and bricks, as well as an eclectic and unexpected mix of materials, including over 40,000 marbles, arrowheads and seashells – all that Banks could possibly want. use. One of the rooms has red brick thrones where Banks invites visitors to be king or queen for a period of time.
He hand-drawn his interpretation of Egyptian hieroglyphics – but he said that where he adds words copied from encyclopedias, he scrambles the letters so that there is no unintentional homage to false gods. . âWe don’t need that there,â he said.
Cartoon characters including Bart Simpson are also pictured.
Visitors are advised to enter at their own risk and the castle closes at nightfall, both for safety reasons and to deter vandals.
âI’m a one-man team, and you’ll see a lot of garbage around the buildings,â Banks said. âPeople don’t care about it because the castle is so beautiful. Someone said, ‘Let me come in here and clean up this place,’ but I said, ‘Here’s the thing. If you throw out my trash, I won’t have anything to build with! ‘ “
The castle has attracted the attention of groups such as groups, paranormal investigators, and filmmakers. Banks agrees with that; anything that will pique the public’s attention and bring them to the castle to hear the message is a blessing to him.
Banks spends six to nine hours a day in the castle grounds, working on the building, tending the garden, mowing the grounds, and welcoming visitors. He has help with mowing and gardening from his family and friends, but he is the sole keeper of this House of the Almighty and accepts full responsibility for sharing the gospel at the same time. orally and visually. Handwritten signs proclaim the message, golf balls spell out “Jesus Christ is King” and crosses widely depicted inside and outside the castle walls underscore Banks’ belief that the hour of death. Christ’s return is near.
Banks also talks about images that began appearing on the castle walls in 2003, drawn, he believes, by a divine hand.
âPictures are popping up everywhere,â he said, including one he said predicted the COVID-19 pandemic. âThis image appeared four years ago,â he said. “This building knew about the virus, but Christ didn’t let me interpret it then.” Banks described the image as showing an older Asian man with his mouth wide open, cheeks swollen, and lungs dilated. Around his face is an elderly man with a straw in his mouth. His interpretation is that a global catastrophic event would occur in an Asian country, spread through the mouth, and affect the lungs. The elderly man is portrayed as having the elderly the most affected, and the straw in his mouth shows he is relaxed, meaning people would be caught off guard.
Another of the images shows a dog with donkey ears with its hindquarters pressed to Jesus’ chest. Banks interprets this to mean that Jesus is tired of being “tied up” by a “stubborn and unbelieving world”.
Banks said anything scratched with a nail on the wall was his fault; the other images simply appear. He outlined these images with black paint to bring them to the attention of the world. He said, “I counted 22.”
The Fortress of Faith has been shared online. “Did you know that there are around 100 castle videos on the Internet?” “He asked, then warned,” Do not pay attention to a lot of the things you see on the Internet, for Satan has a lot of them, but most of them are good.
Ask him why he got the idea to build a castle and he laughs. âI built it because I wanted to be a king and bring in the ladies. You know if you have a castle you’re going to have women, don’t you? He said that had changed in 2003 when the images began to appear and the castle was handed over to the Almighty. “Now, I’m just the gardener, and I’m glad Christ took it over.”
He points to the posting of documents on studies done at the castle by several government entities that he says prove God is a scientific fact. âYou know It’s always been a biblical fact. A lot of people think it’s a fairy tale, but you can look at the government documents and things that are hanging on the wall and things that have happened and are going to happen, and you know they are a Whole. -Powerful, you know they are another side of life. Isn’t that something?
Mary Gregory, a native of Blount County now living in Florida, is in the process of applying for 501 (3) (c) nonprofit status for the castle. She has known Banks since they were children, they grew up on neighboring farms in Greenback and is familiar with the work he has done.
âI told Junior that we had to put the land on which the castle sits into a nonprofit so it could be saved,â Gregory said. “If he can’t find a way to protect him, he will disappear.”
She pointed out that not only is the structure itself unique in that Banks built it herself using salvaged materials, but it also serves a more important purpose.
“I just see that the fundamental purpose of this building is to try to get people to look beyond what everyday life is and to look at the biggest issues in life, like God and religion, âshe said. “I would hate to see it go away, especially now that anything spiritual has to be done.”
Gregory, who has helped several Blount County organizations such as the Rocky Branch Community Club, Cades Cove Preservation Association, and Blount County Historical Museum achieve nonprofit status, hopes for several more board members to administration before filing the final documents.
âIt would be a shame if the castle disappeared,â said Gregory. âIf we could turn it into a non-profit organization, then it would be protected. “