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Crabapple First Baptist Church Takes an Artistic Approach to Reaching Children of its Community

Fulton County Church Unveils Life-Size Comic Book Illustrated by Local Artist Jeanne Matey

Sneak Peek of Entrance to Crabapple FBC Life Size Comic Book
PRLog - May 17, 2012 - ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Despite a very solid children’s ministry already in place at Crabapple First Baptist Church, Associate Pastor of Family Ministries Scott Slaughter continually seeks fun and exciting ways to reach kids in the North Georgia community. In 2010, he began making notes about an exceptionally unique vision. He wanted to transform the neutral hallways of the children’s wing of Crabapple FBC into something they would see each and every time they walk through the church – a Life-Size Comic Book to make the lessons taught by the Bible come alive for his pint-sized parishioners.

“I was particularly drawn to this concept not only because I felt it was age-appropriate, but because comic books are so often tied to superheroes,” explains Pastor Slaughter. “Kids get that it’s fun to imagine superheroes, but in the end – only God can deliver us out of our trouble through the Gospel of Jesus. Just as the young heroes of the story discover, we want the children and visitors of Crabapple First Baptist Church to learn that – while they may never be superheroes – they can still be remarkable human beings by serving Christ and becoming closer to God. We want the children of our community to know that ‘ordinary kids can become extraordinary kids through Jesus Christ.’”

The search for an artist who could mirror Slaughter’s vision and passion for the project began in earnest in 2011. Crabapple FBC preschool director Amy Mullivain introduced the pastor to local artist Jeanne Matey, an art instructor at Glazed & Fired Art Studio in Cumming. Matey clearly understood the message Slaughter was trying to convey, and by coupling her artistry with her own faith, she ultimately brought Slaughter's two-year vision to reality with the Life-Size Comic Book that now graces the halls of CFB. Work on the murals began in September 2011 including two entryway paintings and six 8x5 foot comic book scenes. Once the painting was completed six months later, an unveiling took place on Sunday, March 25, 2012 to the delight of the families who attend the church.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge based on the sheer size of the mural, but felt a push from a higher power to accept the project,” recalls Matey. “It was very rewarding for me both artistically and spiritually.  I was honored to use my talent to help the kids of Crabapple First Baptist Church connect to the lessons of the Bible. ”

Comprised of a series of highly imaginative scenes, the Life-Size Comic Book at Crabapple FBC follows brother and sister duo – Max and Dawn – on a powerful journey of self discovery through recognizable cityscapes in Atlanta. Brightly colored visuals combined with dialogue bubbles and corresponding Bible references help draw the audience in to the story’s meaning.

“Just like many of our children here at CFB, this is only the beginning of Max and Dawn's life journey to faith,” explains Slaughter. “Our doors are open to anyone who wishes to peruse the hallways of our Sunday School.  We hope the parents of our community will enjoy using the mural as a teaching tool with their children for years to come, and ultimately help them gain a better understanding of the Gospel. We’d love the children to lead the way to multi-generational faithfulness, and be the ones who wake their parents up on Sunday morning and say, ‘Let’s go to church!’”

Pastor Slaughter is already making notes for new projects to draw families of Crabapple FBC closer to the church, including the next chapter in Max and Dawn’s story.  Chances are he will be calling on Matey to lend her talents again in the near future. In the meantime, both Slaughter and the kids at the church are looking ahead to “Amazing Wonders” Vacation Bible School on June 4-8 and “The Next Level” Bible learning program featuring Max and Dawn on Wednesday nights, May 23 & 30, and June 13 & 20. Parents who wish to enroll their children in either of these programs are welcome to call the church office at 770-475-6111 or visit the church website at www.crabapplefbc.org for more information.

About Crabapple First Baptist: Established in the late 1800’s, Crabapple First Baptist Church has been serving the Milton, Georgia community and beyond through worship, ministry, and mission work for more than 120 years. Led by Senior Pastor Jerry Dockery, Family Pastor Scott Slaughter, Student Pastor Brett Cottrell and Music Pastor Ken Hayes, Crabapple FBC is founded on “totally scriptural, passionately spiritual, and eternally significant” values. In addition to serving as a worship community for believing families and individuals in the North Fulton County area, Crabapple FBC also provides a Sunday school, bible classes, weekday preschool, English as a Second Language classes, music program, prayer chain, counseling, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program,  Vacation Bible School, summer camp, aerobics classes and youth league basketball. Outside of the church, Crabapple FBC has taken part in much-needed mission work as close to home as Suwanee and Atlanta, and as far away as Africa and India. The doors of Crabapple FBC are always open to visitors and new members. The church is located at 12760 Birmingham Hwy in Milton, Georgia. To learn more about the pastors and the offerings at Crabapple First Baptist Church, visit them online at www.crabapplefbc.org.

About Artist Jeanne Matey: In addition to creating original works of art for private and public collections, Southern artist Jeanne Matey is the lead artist and painting instructor at Glazed & Fired – a paint-your-own pottery and art studio in Cumming. She holds her Bachelor of Arts Degree with a studio emphasis from Mercer University in Macon and is an active member of the SawneeArtist Association (SAA).  Matey’s background includes studio work in painting, drawing, sculpting, as well as Art History. In addition to her work in painting instruction, she specializes in custom oil and acrylic renderings on canvas, as well as hand painted murals and furniture. To commission a custom painting or to purchase existing artwork from Jeanne Matey’s Art Gallery, please contact the artist by phone at 404.403.8334 or by email at jmatey@bellsouth.net. To stay up-to-date on Matey’s latest work, be sure to “like” her Facebook page at “Jeanne Matey’s Art Gallery”. To learn more about Glazed & Fired, visit them online at www.glazedandfired.com.

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Source:Kasie Bolling/Out of Her Mind Freelance
Location:Alpharetta - Georgia - United States
Industry:Religion, Arts, Family
Tags:Crabapple First Baptist Church, Jeanne Matey, Associate Pastor Scott Slaughter, Artist Jeanne Matey, baptist church
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