The Preacher and His Congregation

November 10 through March 5, 2017

The Photographs of James Perry Walker


Rev. Cole, Mary Cole, Man & Pee Wee Gatewood Church Slayden, MS


Gatewood baptizing #1 Slayden, MS

The Muskegon Museum of Art will present The Preacher and His Congregation: Photographs by James Perry Walker, November 10, 2016 through March 5, 2017. The public is invited to an opening reception and special program on Thursday, November 10, starting at 5:30 pm. The event will run through 8:00 pm and is free.

In the late 1970s, photographer and writer James Perry Walker (1945-2014) traveled Marshall County in northern Mississippi with circuit preacher Reverend Louis Cole. The resulting photographic essay is a visual record of the Reverend and his congregation, of people, place, and their shared religious and community experience.

As a circuit preacher, Reverend Cole gave services at multiple churches of his own, and served as a guest, substitute, or assistant at others, in addition to attending baptisms, weddings, revivals, funerals, fund raisers, deacon meetings, committee meetings, and the like. The photographs in this exhibition cover a period of six years, ending with Cole’s death in 1981.

The Preacher and His Congregation is on loan from the Flint Institute of Arts, which premiered the photographs in 2000.

Sponsored by The Schulze Family Diversity Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Additional support is provided by Blue Lake Public Radio and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs–an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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