The sanctuary of White Marsh Baptist Church in Whiteville, NC. The baptistry painting is by Walter Keul, circa 1955, when this sanctuary was built.
View from the choir loft looking to the left corner of the baptistry. The artist’s signature is at the base of the rock on the left wall of the baptistry.
Close-up of the artist’s signature.
View of the right side of the baptistry, which is the only side from which a person can enter.
Close-up of the painting. One can see the brush strokes and thick paint on canvas.
The steps leading up to the baptistry are each approximately 10.5″ inches tall!
The view from the top of the steps down into the baptistry. Walter Keul has, in his usual fashion, painted the side walls of the baptistry, also. This gives one the sense of being surrounded by the outdoor setting that he has created.
The view of the sanctuary from the baptistry.
The view from the top of the steps. Thank goodness for handrails!
External views of the sanctuary.
Sheila’s notes: White Marsh Baptist Church in Whiteville, North Carolina, has a special place in my heart. It was my grandparents’ church and the church where my mother went as a child until she left home to attend college. I spent many summer Sundays in my youth gazing at this baptistry painting when we visited my grandmother. This church is probably the birthplace of my interest in Christian art and specifically baptistry paintings.
Jill’s notes: White Marsh Baptist Church celebrates its 250th anniversary this October (2015). Like many churches of its era, White Marsh, located in Columbus County, took the name of a local body of water. One of the first Baptist churches founded in North Carolina (1765), White Marsh Baptist now worships in a sanctuary constructed in 1955. A feature of this sanctuary is an undated baptistry painting completed by Walter Kuel. Before the construction of the current sanctuary with its indoor baptistry, baptisms were performed in a local pond or stream or in the baptistry of Whiteville’s First Baptist Church.