More than 15 members of Denver United Methodist Church on N.C. 16 donated their time and talents from November to Palm Sunday to paint murals in the downstairs area of the church.
According to church member and children ministries director Cynthia Hall, she wanted to do something special to make the area colorful and relaxing for children.
In pitching the idea for murals, Hall said she first talked to a few people about the idea then held a meeting to discuss the project.
â€œWe all decided murals speak louder than just paint color,â€ said Hall. â€œOur murals are living proof that a picture is truly worth a thousand words.â€
While the murals tell different Bible stories, one special mural at the end of the hall his home for church member Libba Thompson.
The former Lincoln County art teacher painted a picture of Jesus.
â€œI didnâ€™t plan on using my son, Jay, as a model,â€ said Thompson. â€œEveryone whoâ€™s seen the mural said Jesus looks just like him.â€
Thompson also painted a shepherd, sheep and a potter.
She said many children feel uncomfortable being left downstairs by their parents, especially younger children like her 8-year-old daughter, Lea.
â€œThis mural serves as a distraction for the kids and it can help them get used to an area they will be in for about an hour.”
Thompson credited Hall as being the creative mind behind the mural idea.
Hall said she likes the fact the murals arenâ€™t laid out in a specific pattern.
â€œWeâ€™ve put in hidden messages in some of the murals, like a woman kneading bread dough which represents the bread of life,â€ said Hall. â€œWe also put in hidden symbols in different places, like the keys to the Kingdom and fish symbols.â€
Lea Thompson, 8, who accompanied her mother, Libba, at night to work on the mural, said the mural is better than staring at plain white walls.
â€œItâ€™s more colorful and it looks good,â€ she said.
Church member Joanna Young said the idea for the murals started out small, then blossomed.
â€œAs it emerged, people would come in and make suggestions of what to add,â€ she said.
Young said she sketched many of the animals for Noahâ€™s Ark and Baby Moses for the river mural.
â€œIt didnâ€™t take me long to sketch once I got started,â€ said Young. â€œIt was slow at first because I havenâ€™t sketched in a long time.â€
Hall called the entire project a labor of love.
â€œThe volunteers even used paint and supplies from their own homes,â€ said Hall.
Pastor Jeff Johnson said the murals are not only a testament to Bible stories but a message of faith.
â€œThe Bible says if a person walks by faith, then people can see,â€ he said. â€œThese people took this project on themselves and envisioned what these walls would look like. We are blessed with so many talented people.â€
by Jon Mayhew