Craig R. West

Mr. West is cordially inviting the public to view his newest body of photographs, “God’s Covenant Community,” a sacred documentary that explores the spiritual and sacred connections of Midwest Baptist Church members and their Christian Faith. Mr. West is a founding member of that church, and actively serves as a Deacon there. Midwest Baptist Church is a small to mid-sized church with a membership role that averages around 90-100 members. In “God’s Covenant Community”, Mr. West has focused on special moments that show the deepest kinds of Christian bonds that believers share in both formal and informal church settings. As Mr. West states, “my photographs attempt to visually show why the relationships and ties that exist between believers in a small church community are so strong. Put simply, God’s Love and Grace are the lifeblood and glue that holds this church [Midwest Baptist Church] together.”

While many of the images in “God’s Covenant Community” feature various age groups, Mr. West’s favorite images involve children at worship and at play. As his Pastor so eloquently states, “our children are the lifeblood of the church.” And the viewer will find all kinds of images of children in this exhibit. Many of these images feature children having fun at Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Easter Service, and Church Picnics.

Mr. West’s photographs originally start off as color photographs, and are then changed to grayscale, and then to a duotone mix of black, orange and green. The resulting image then is imbued with a warm tone that creates an archetypal timeless feel. As Mr. West states, “I want my concentrated body of covenant photographs to bring back the visual essence of that old time religion.”

What gives this documentary stunning universal appeal is the open expressive gesture that the people in each photograph display. Whether in the act of worship or at play, the members of Midwest Baptist Church are bonded by an open love, affection, and humanity that is simply contagious. Mr. West’s main goal and objective behind this body of work is to use these compelling photographs to encourage, uplift, and strengthen his church. A second goal is to provide a timeless authentic look and feel of what a genuine Church would look like on any given day. Mr. West feels that any authentic Christ-led Church should be characterized by love, fellowship, praise, worship, and lots of lively fun. If you get nothing else from this show, the viewer will definitely know that God, Covenant, and Community are highly valued by all Midwest Baptist Church members.

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