MILTON, Ga. – Despite a children’s ministry already in place at Crabapple First Baptist Church, Associate Pastor of Family Ministries Scott Slaughter continually seeks to reach kids in the North Georgia community.
In 2010, he wanted to transform the neutral hallways of the children’s wing of Crabapple FBC into a life-size comic book to make the Bible lessons come alive.
“I was particularly drawn to this concept not only because I felt it was age-appropriate, but comic books are so often tied to superheroes,” Slaughter said. “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.”
The search for an artist who could mirror Slaughter’s vision and passion for the project began in 2011. Crabapple FBC Preschool Director Amy Mullvain introduced the pastor to local artist Jeanne Matey, an art instructor at Glazed and Fired Art Studio in Cumming. Matey said she understood the message Slaughter was trying to convey and coupled her artistry with her faith.
Work on the murals commenced in September 2011, including two entryway paintings and six 8-by-5-foot comic book scenes. Six months later, the comic book was finished and revealed to the church on March 25.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge based on the sheer size of the mural, but I felt a push from a higher power to accept the project,” Matey said. “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.”
The comic book follows brother and sister – Max and Dawn – on a 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,” Slaughter said. “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, 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.’”
For more on Crabapple First Baptist Church, visit them online at www.crabapplefbc.org.