Woman paints for church

Published 9:14 pm Friday, February 3, 2012

Darlene Parker painted the scene on the wall behind her at the Divine Church of Deliverance and Transformation, 127 W. Washington St. The pastor asked her to do a Memory Wall where photos of deceased church members and others could be displayed. The painting was unveiled on Christmas morning.

Ever since she did her first painting — a snowy nature scene — at the age of 14, Darlene Parker has loved art.

She drew when she was little, and by her teens had moved on to all kinds of art. Now, she is the head of the art ministry at the Divine Church of Deliverance and Transformation, which meets at 127 W. Washington St.

As part of that ministry, Parker helps with arts and crafts for Vacation Bible School and other church outreaches. But her most visible contribution is the paintings on the walls of the church.

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In the lobby, Parker used acrylic paint to portray a dove, Bible and cross against an oval background of blue sky. The illustration leads down to a painted trellis embellished with flowers and butterflies, which creates the backdrop for the Memory Wall.

On the Memory Wall are photographs of deceased people who have inspired church members or been a part of the church — Brenda Boone, Dr. Melvin R. Boone, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others.

Bishop Brian E. Outlaw Sr. said having the Memory Wall has greatly enhanced the church’s lobby.

“It’s just like God gave her a vision of what to build,” he said. “We’ve got great talent in this church. I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by.”

The painting was unveiled on Christmas morning.

“This was her gift to the church,” Outlaw said.

The inclusion of butterflies on the Memory Wall pays tribute to the church’s “transformation” theme, which is also carried out in its window artwork featuring a caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly.

But the painting in the lobby isn’t her only work at the church. She also drew and painted dozens of popular cartoon characters in the children’s area, with the help of other church members.

“Sometimes I get an idea from a picture,” Parker said. “Sometimes I just get an idea in my head. For this, he told me a little bit about what he wanted.”

She does plenty of other work, as well. She did a series on historical black influences, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass, for her personal collection.

“She’s just gifted,” said her husband, Edwin Parker, a preacher at the church. “That’s all I can say.”