July 29, 2003
DESLOGE — Since 1987, Chalk Artist and Bible Teacher Randy Davis of Ottumwa, Iowa has been a partner with God in sharing his seminar style messages across the United States. Recently, he shared visual Bible messages with the Desloge First Baptist Church members and guests for their Spring Revival. He then used a colorful chalk drawing to illustrate the love of God and the theme of the message that preceded it.
His ministry is called "Drawing Closer Ministries" and is primarily geared to adults, although it appeals to all ages. Randy’s ministry is designed to support, strengthen and encourage local churches and pastors around the nation. In fact, many pastors report record-breaking attendances for these unique, visual presentations.
All totaled Davis has presented his work in 20 states since he began the ministry in 1987. He will be speaking and drawing in a number of states in the weeks to come including Michigan, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, and Florida.He will also speak and draw for a national marriage conference this summer near Chicago.
Davis is joined in his ministry by his wife, Shirley, a vocalist. Randy uses appropriate musical selections for each drawing. He feels this ministry is something unique and different that conveys the truth of Scripture in a meaningful way.
The tools he uses are paper, a large easel frame, chalk, colorful lights and an eye for art.
"Our ministry is a combination of visual Bible teaching, chalk artistry and music, he said."
Randy said that in addition to presenting the Gospel, "Drawing Closer Ministries" tries to visually convey other Bible principles and how they can be applied to modern day living.
Randy, 47, is not a pastor or preacher, but a former layman whose work has rapidly grown into a fullitime nation wide ministry.
While chalk talk artists have been in Christian circles for many years, the presentations by Randy attempt to be more than artistic and entertaining. Prior to the drawing, Davis visually conveys a Bible message via an overhead projector and large screen.
"With all of the visual education, TV, movies and computers, I feel like this ministry has unlimited potential in the future because our society is so visually orientated," he said.
Randy said he first became interested in art when an elementary school art instructor told the class to draw a deer, for which he received a high score. In fact, he still uses a deer in one of the many pictures he draws today in his meetings.
He taught a class of young adults in the mid-1980s and wanted a unique an interesting way to share the lessons of Scripture, so he began using chalk drawings to illustrate his teaching.
Randy’s presentations reach a climax with the use of special lighting effects coordinated with music to reveal a previously drawn "hidden picture" completed earlier in invisible fluorescent chalk beneath the one he has been drawn in front of the audience.
Randy said that scheduling is done on an ‘invitation only’ basis and that he does not contact churches and ask to schedule engagements. The Davis’minister primarily in Baptist churches. Most meetings are for church revivals or evangelistic outreaches.Besides churches, venues in which they have minstrered includ community centers, restaurants, hotel conference rooms, and even warehouses. The size of their audiences have ranged from 15 people to more than 1,500. Countless numbers of people have responded to the clear message of salvation over the years as well as scores of Christian people making fresh commitments to Jesus, Randy said.
"Drawing Closer Ministries" is available for a variety of services including Sunday worship, 3 -5-day revivals, visual Bible conferences, lenten services, renewal weekends, high school and college functions, banquets of all types or any special church event.
Jim Richards, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Knob Noster, Mo. where there was Revival services recently, felt the studies were well received. He felt the messages and drawings touched the lives of a lot of people and perhaps the lives of some that had not been exposed to Bible teaching.
Doug Elders of First Baptist Church, Desloge, agreed.
"Randy’s presentations were grounded in Scripture. While he drew, the congregation was able to quietly reflect and allow the Holy Spirit tospeak to their hearts. It wasn’t ‘fire and brimstone preaching’, but I believe in this case, God was found in a still, small voice."
For booking information or questions please contact: Drawing Closer Ministries 1935 Greenwood Drive Ottumwa, Iowa 52501 or call 641-683-3834. The couple also has a Web Site that may be seen at www.chalkartist.com E-Mail may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.