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New murals at Denver church

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.
“We all decided murals speak louder than just paint color,” said Hall. “Our murals are living proof that a picture is truly worth a thousand words.”
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.
“I didn’t plan on using my son, Jay, as a model,” said Thompson. “Everyone who’s seen the mural said Jesus looks just like him.”
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.
“This 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 aren’t laid out in a specific pattern.
“We’ve put in hidden messages in some of the murals, like a woman kneading bread dough which represents the bread of life,” said Hall. “We also put in hidden symbols in different places, like the keys to the Kingdom and fish symbols.”
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.
“It’s more colorful and it looks good,” she said.
Church member Joanna Young said the idea for the murals started out small, then blossomed.
“As it emerged, people would come in and make suggestions of what to add,” she said.
Young said she sketched many of the animals for Noah’s Ark and Baby Moses for the river mural.
“It didn’t take me long to sketch once I got started,” said Young. “It was slow at first because I haven’t sketched in a long time.”
Hall called the entire project a labor of love.
“The volunteers even used paint and supplies from their own homes,” said Hall.
Pastor Jeff Johnson said the murals are not only a testament to Bible stories but a message of faith.
“The Bible says if a person walks by faith, then people can see,” he said. “These people took this project on themselves and envisioned what these walls would look like. We are blessed with so many talented people.”
by Jon Mayhew

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