Flint Institute of Arts

Flint, MI




The Preacher and His Congregation: Photography of James Perry Walker


The Flint Institute of Arts is proud to present The Preacher and His Congregation: Photography of James Perry Walker. The exhibition will be on display from February 5 to March 19, 2000 and is sponsored by Bank One and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Inevitably, the photographs of James Perry Walker tap an emotional key, giving witness to a deep faith. Growing up in Marshall County, Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Walker witnessed life in an isolated, impoverished rural community.

Following his graduation from college, he spent the summer of 1967 working in Marshall County as a teacher at Gatewood Baptist Church, whose pastor was the Reverend Louis Cole. One fall morning Mr. Walker attended a revival service at Gatewood and experienced a sermon unlike any he had heard before. He moved away shortly afterward, but the memory of that sermon stayed with him.

Nearly a decade later, Mr. Walker began a six-year project to produce a photographic essay about Reverend Cole and his congregation. He spent many hours with the preacher at his home, as well as at his own church and numerous others, talking with and photographing him, members of his congregation, and many of his friends. Forty photographs will be featured in this extraordinary exhibition, documenting the role of religion in contemporary African-American society. 

Read more about the Flint Institute of Arts in Resource Library Magazine.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 12/23/10

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