Given four chapters in the Book of Genesis, Noah’s story is unusual in many ways, not the least of which is the fact that it was accorded so much space when the Bible often says the most important things with great brevity.

Working around 3,000 B.C., Noah was 600 years old when God told him to build a ship and specified the dimensions. Noah took 100 years to build the ark and load his family and two of every creature on Earth in it before a 40-day rain flooded the earth and killed everything, including the violent sinners who had brought condemnation on themselves.

The Revs. Mike Hanks and Terry Pugh say the most notable thing about Noah was his faith. “After the end of the flood, God gave a rainbow and said he would not destroy the Earth again in that way,” said the Rev. Hanks, pastor of the First Assembly of God Church in Midland.

“Noah had tremendous faith to ignore all the scoffers and do what God told him to do. He had trem1endous integrity to hold onto his trust in God. God has a plan for his people. We just need to follow it. Jesus is the only way to Heaven and God has always shown us the way to go.”

Hanks and his wife Sandi traveled to Williamstown, Ky., last year to visit the Ark Encounter, which features the most exact replica of the ark that could be built, measuring 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high.

Hanks said the Ark Encounter “is an amazing place to visit.

“It’s overwhelming with the information on how the ark was constructed and how all the animals were in there. Noah’s sons Ham, Shem and Japheth helped him build it. It just engulfs you. It shows you the living quarters, which were pretty nice for the standards of that day because they had to keep their morale up. It had windows in the very top of it. They also had a garden. We walked all three floors.”

Hanks said Noah had no experience with ship-building, but God told him each step to take and he built a sturdy craft that was equal to the challenge of surviving for over a year till the water subsided and all the Ark’s occupants, including Noah and seven members of his family, were able to disembark.

The Rev. Pugh, pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church, said Noah “was an amazing individual because he kept building the ark for 100 years with no support outside his family.

“He was being ridiculed about what was coming, but he had a different opinion,” Pugh said. “It’s an amazing example to do the right thing even when it’s inconvenient. No matter how you feel, just do it because it is the right thing.”

Pugh said Noah is characterized by faith and perseverance. “There was nothing miraculous happening as he was building the ark,” the pastor said.

“He obeyed and he worked, so we should obey God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Noah was a man of faith and a plodder. I believe that plodding gets a lot more done than enthusiasm because enthusiasm is a feeling that doesn’t last. Plodders are consistent. You can count on them.”

Asked how Noah knew it was God who was warning him about the flood, Pugh said, “Obviously, God made it clear one way or another that it had to be him.

“It was too late for the people because it was just a lot of sin and God had had enough.”

Neither Hanks nor Pugh had an opinion about whether the ship’s ruins found on Mount Ararat in Turkey are from the Ark.