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Atlanta church planter displays talent in unique outreach


Katie Nalls/BP

Artist Kerry Jackson paints a picture of Jesus during a presentation at the KALEO: New Orleans conference for students Nov. 17.

ATLANTA (BP) — For Kerry Jackson, ministry has always had an artistic flavor to it.

Currently on staff with the North American Mission Board as a design specialist, Jackson and his wife, Twyla, are also part of a church plant at trendy Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta.

On Nov. 17-18, the Jacksons shared the value of using God-given talents to communicate the gospel with more than 300 students and leaders at the inaugural KALEO: New Orleans conference held at New Orleans Seminary.

In reading 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, Jackson emphasized verse 6, saying. “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

After reading the Scripture, Jackson began to paint several white strokes on a canvas. Music accompanied Jackson as he painted red lines at the top of the canvas, followed by blue shadows. Over the next 20 minutes, conference participants watched as the seemingly abstract images came together to depict the face of Christ wearing a bloody crown of thorns.

The presentation ended as sharp staccato notes played and Jackson flung drops of red paint onto the canvas. Conference participants registered to win the painting.

The weekend included practical help for students wading through a call to ministry. Students not only heard that their call is unique but they saw examples of different types of ministry.

The Jacksons have a ministry to the arts community, “Drawing to the Rock Ministries.” In a video presentation Kerry Jackson stated, “We are trying to reach the creative people for the creator.”

Michael McCormack/BP

Artist Kerry Jackson’s finished painting depicts Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. Jackson is part of a church plant in midtown Atlanta.

KALEO: New Orleans was the first installment of an annual conference sponsored by the North American Mission Board’s Missions Prep Network. Speakers and activities focused on helping students identify and commit to a specific calling to serve God vocationally. God can use a variety of gifts and talents for His glory, students were told.

“If God has called you and you answered Him, your ministry began when you said, ‘Yes Lord. Here am I,’ Every individual’s call is very unique and very different,” said Donald King, senior national consultant for the North American Mission Board and conference director. “You are very special and God has something special in mind for you.”

The next conference, KALEO: North Greenville, is scheduled for March 23-24, 2007 in Taylors, S.C.

For more information about the Missions Prep Network or KALEO visit or