Mural Fixed As Act Of Faith

Mt. Zion gets a donation of artist's work

By Vanessa Santos-Garza Caller Times
March 17, 2004

A woman has brought joy to the pastor, congregation and close friend at Mt. Zion Baptist church by restoring a majestic mural featuring the River Jordan that had been the background in the baptismal area of the church for some 40 years.

On Monday Cheryl Votzmeyer set up shop at Mount Zion Baptist Church with photos of the mural, which had recently been removed, and got to work. By Tuesday the decorative painter and muralist, who is not a member of the church, was done with the project and had restored the mural that for so long had been in the front of the church.

This Sunday, when the congregation looks toward the pulpit at the place where hundreds have been baptized over the past 40 years, they will see the River Jordan flowing again.

For church member Gertrude Hubbard, Votzmeyer's work is truly and act of religious renewal. Not only did Votzmeyer repair the mural as a love offering to the church, she helped to rebuild a huge cornerstone of Hubbard's faith through her talent.

"My son, Lawrence, was baptized there as well as my nieces and nephews," she said. "She did it for her love of God and for her love of me."

Votzmeyer, 33, and Hubbard 40, met three years ago on a Walk to Emmaus retreat and have remained close ever since. The two meet weekly with members of their support group to talk about their lives, share their faith and support one another.

"It means a lot to me that she did this she has no affiliation with our church aside from being a believer," Hubbard said.
For Rev. Harry Williams, Votzmeyer's act is truly a blessing.

"Our church has needed this for years and years and years but we couldn't find anyone to do it," Williams said. "It makes it even more special that she is willing to use a talent God has given her, to bless other people."

The mural had long been the background during happy events at the church, where church members had brought their loved ones to be welcomed into God's family. "It has always bothered me that it was not as it should be," Williams said.

For Votzmeyer, who owns Green Frog and Co., faith has no bounds and God has no denomination. So when Votzmeyer, who is Methodist, was approached by Hubbard, her "Christian sister," about taking on the project, she didn't hesitate to say yes.

"It's not about being Methodist or Baptist or Presbyterian," she said. "It's about building up the body of Christ."

Tim Zielenbach/Caller-Times
Cheryl Votzmeyer (foreground) and assistant Jade Guerra paint a mural of the River Jordan above the baptistry at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Tuesday. The Mural had been in need of repair for a long time before they started restoration work on Monday as a 'love offering' to the church.
Tim Zielenbach/Caller-Times
Mount Zion Baptist Church Pastor Harry Williams beams as he views the freshly retored mural.