A Church Home

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Kerrville Texas

Pastors Charles Biggs & Noah Diggs, Kerrville Tx

Armstrong Memorial C.M.E., Jasper Texas

Pastor Gary Chalk, Jasper Texas













The day I first came to Mount Olive, members were having a fish fry and I asked if I could attend Sunday service. Initially this new relationship felt apprehensive and uncertain. Why was I, a caucasian of Episcopalian upbringing, there? Why did I feel such a compelling need to keep going back to this church? As Mrs. Evelyn Shields, Mount Olive member of seventy-three years, so directly pointed out, “this is a different culture.” I found myself standing at the crossroads between faith and expression, concepts I believed could not coexist. In the months that followed, I became a witness to a community of people who felt no need to pretend, who believed in the power of the word, and who had no preoccupation with perfection. Members of Mount Olive gave me a home, a church home. Here, Sundays became a musical revelry¬†of song, dance, and affection. By allowing me to photograph the most sacred part of their lives, the members of Mount Olive changed my life. Guided by their spirit, I have learned that faith and expression should coexist. The images in this body of work are the collective portrait of friends I have grown to love.