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Hunter Street Baptist Church member paints massive depictions of Christmas storycomment (0)

December 11, 2008

By Rob Eaker

When Ashley Anderton joined the choir at Hunter Street Baptist Church, Hoover, eight years ago, she came for the purpose of glorifying God with her voice.

But this year’s Christmas musical at the church will include more than her vocal contribution. It will feature “the art of the Christmas story” through paintings she developed as a backdrop for the Dec. 14 program.

Reaching as high as 12 feet, enlargements of Anderton’s five paintings will provide more than a glimpse of the traditional manger scene.  According to Anderton, the paintings will depict “what was so beautiful about Jesus — the whole story” of the prophecy, birth, life and resurrection of Christ. 

Scott Allred, minister of magnification at Hunter Street, indicated that “the five paintings will hang in progressive succession, visually depicting the story of God’s provision for our salvation: the Messiah prophesied, the prophecy fulfilled, Christ’s amazing life, and, finally, His death and resurrection, declaring the completion of God’s grand work of redemption.”

Allred approached Anderton with the concept of “incorporating liturgical art” into the Christmas program earlier this year. 

“I have known Ashley for five years and know that she enjoys expressing herself through sometimes whimsical, sometimes abstract but always very colorful art creations,” he said. “To say the least, she got excited.”

As she developed the paintings, one a capella piece from the program, “Beautiful Savior,” was particularly inspirational for Anderton. The paintings, as a part of the broader theme of the program, “will visually remind the congregation how beautiful our Savior really is — from prophecy to resurrection — God kept His promises,” Anderton explained.

Anderton considers her paintings a reflection of, and a response to, the wonder of Christ’s story.

While she has painted since the third grade, Anderton has only recently utilized her artistic talent as an act of worship.

“In the past couple of years I have learned that the talent God has given me is His and that He is delighted when I use it,” she said.

As far as the Hunter Street Christmas program goes, Anderton said she hopes “people will be blessed by the music of the choir and spurred to think beyond the birth [of Jesus] by looking at the entire lengths God would go to save His people.”

Ultimately, she “prays that their hearts would be renewed by pondering the promise God made and its fulfillment.”

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