Sunday, August 19, 2007

(All works shown are in the Archives of the Edwina Church of God in Jesus' Name and are presented here by express permission of the artist. All rights reserved.)

I'm really excited to present to you a taste of Pastor Morrow's artwork today for "Happy Sunday". I know when I first saw his paintings that I was completely blown away by them. I've long been a fan of outsider art. Jimmy's work is some of the most exciting that I've seen.

He works on a relatively small scale for most of his work. He has 600 paintings kept in loose leaf notebooks in the Church Archives. Some are historical in nature, given Jimmy's keen interest in history, so there are secular works. But for the most part they deal with the subject closest to his heart, The Pentecostal Church Serpent Handlers and The Signs Followers.

I asked Pastor Morrow if there was a reason that he did 600 of the paintings. I think I was perhaps hoping there was some story like Howard Finster's about the blob of paint speaking to him and saying, "Make Sacred Art!"

But Jimmy just shrugged and said, "No, my arms sort of started to cramp up and I don't like to get too involved with anything that takes me away from the Gospel."

I do think his art is very important. I hope you will see what I see in it. The passion of his convictions and his faith. And the beauty and sweetness that is the Pentecostal Church Serpent Handlers.

If you would like to view the entire collection you will have to make the pilgrimage to the church to do so. I'd suggest writing before you come.

The address of the church is:

Edwina Church of God In Jesus' Name
1751 Bloom Drive
Newport, TN 37821

Happy Sunday!


  1. bluemountainmama said...
    oh my gosh....the last one, of the sister with the snake on her head!

    i love that you find beauty in this, rosie! it is part of the appalachian culture, and you don't find it much anymore.

    also....i have a call to action over at my blog. please stop over if you get a chance. thanks!
    GUYK said...
    the only way I go in a church full of rattle snakes is with an 12 gauge automatic with the plug out and loaded with high brass 6 six lead. And maybe the last load with double ought buck just cause..
    Mike said...
    I've handled a few rattlesnakes in my time. But it has always been with a grubbin' hoe or a pistol or something. I applaud the faith of those that do this, but I rest my faith more in the nature of a snake to bite you. lol The same book that tells them to handle them, tells me not to tempt Him. He has already been kind enough to let me slip by on numerous occasions when I should have been killed. He might not be in such a generous mood today.

    But all that being said, the pictures are quite impressive. I am sure they will find their way into an archive of some kind one day. Those Pent's and their traditions are just another facet of our collective mountain heritage that make us who we are.
    JesusMan said...
    I was a convert of the faith and Bro Morrow was my mentor as I learned of the faith in his church. He mentored me until I turned 18 and joined another church in our faith. This man, in all his beauty and humbleness, has tried to portray our faith in one of the ways he feels passionate about but the faith hasn't been so kind to him in their judgements. This way has always had a certain way to do things and going outside the box is usually frowned upon. Morrow has been looked upon as a child-like man because of his artistic view and portrayal of our people in is paintings. I feel this was so sad of a misjudgment on their parts! I for one, am proud of the courage it took Bro Morrow to step out of the "norm" and show the world how he sees the wonder of the book of Mark, as Jesus gave the last commission to his Apostles. Thank you so very much for publishing the heart-and-soul of a faithful man! God will surely bless you much!
    Rosie said...
    Thanks for visiting my archives, JesusMan. Jimmy is still one of my favorite people. He and Pam have always been kind to me. I've always said if Jimmy had been born elsewhere with different advantages he would most likely be a professor at some important university. When you meet him, you can feel his curiosity, passion and intelligence. We are lucky to have him and I hope we have him for a good bit longer.

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