Artist Jim Davis started painting late in life, at nearly forty he discovered a God given talent. Even though he had never taken a painting class, he suddenly found himself winning best of show at some statewide contest. Jim and his family expresses how blessed they are to be a part of this visual ministry and are quick to give the Lord credit; saying without Him nothing would exist or be possible.
Articles about the artist’s work have appeared in some major newspapers and a few have surfaced in European magazines. His family has received phone orders throughout the world and they say it has been a unique blessing to talk to emergency workers in far-away places like Australia, South Korea, Germany, and England. Often these callers would express the “goose-bump” sensation when first seeing the prints and a few had confessed to crying. Over the years, the family has collected hundreds of letters conveying heartfelt testimonies of faith, suffering, and courage.
Once while on vacation, Jim was pumping gas at a small filling station while his wife Elisabeth went inside to pay. She excitedly ran out telling Jim that the owner was a volunteer firefighter and had all the prints hanging on the wall. While talking to the owner they discovered that he used them to witness to his customers.
In a major city, a Pierce apparatus passed Jim and his wife. As it screamed by they noticed one of the prints, “Lord is My Shepherd” permanently painted on the compartment door. They were very touched by the experience (Pierce Mfg. has a long-standing contract with Jim for use of his paintings for special ordered apparatus).
The artist says it has been a very awe-inspiring connection for God to use him (with all his imperfections) in this ministry. Over the past fifteen years, a number of prints have been donated for various fund raising events. Nearly 300 prints were auctioned for the relief efforts immediately following the 911 terrorist attacks. One framed print was auctioned for nearly $2,000. Of all the donations throughout the years, it has been estimated to be over $80,000 dollars raised to help wounded warriors, fallen firefighters, burned children, homeless veterans, MS victims, disaster stricken families, and to support various ministries for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Often asked if the artist can paint wildlife, sunsets, and nature. Jim says, “I have never tried, a lot of artist do, but I know it will never look as good as what the Lord paints for us every day! I would rather focus on painting a subtle testimony for the casual observer. An image that makes the person slow-down, even just for a moment and think of our Creator!”
He plans on painting images for the unsung heroes in EMS, nursing, and the medical field. Also, he hopes to paint more military and historical type paintings. One unique project he is working on is a group of frontiersmen under siege at the Alamo. It is between the battles during the 13 day standoff, a group of rugged men showing their respect as an elderly man reads to them from a Bible. They have their heads lowered and their hats in their hands. Some are kneeing. Jim’s hope is that a small boy will look at these brave warriors and see that it is very manly to love Christ.
The artist says the ultimate compliment is when he sees a seasoned veteran, tough as nails, cry when they first see the paintings. One of Jim’s prayers is that the paintings will continue to help with fund raising events,… but most importantly touch the casual observer into seeing the bigger picture, Christ is Lord!