CENTERVILLE—William (Bill) Enders, a member of First Baptist Church here, used his art to serve God and to bless others.
Enders also found a way to continue that blessing after his death on July 11, 2011. He left several of his paintings of biblical themes to his home church.
“We have quite a few of Bill’s paintings in the fellowship hall,” Pastor Bill Jackson said. “He’s also done some murals on the walls of some of the classrooms.”
A close friend and member of First Centerville, Dwayne Botkin, described Enders as a “colorful individual.” He often expressed that through art.
“He had so much creativity,” Botkin said. “He could make anything out of just about anything.”
Pastor Jackson and Botkin both mentioned the model locomotives and military aircraft he could build out of paper and glue.
“He could design anything and he didn’t waste any materials,” Botkin said. “The paintings he did used house paint as a medium.”
Sharlett Enders, Bill’s widow, added more information about the unusual house paint that Enders used.
“When Bill grew up,” she said, “their family was poor with several children and he didn’t have the money to buy oil paint. So, he learned to use house paint just so he could paint. His painting earned him a scholarship to study art in New Jersey while he served in the military.”
She went on to discuss the variety of his creativity.
“He has painted on every medium you could think of,” she said. “I’ve seen him paint on window shades and chicken feathers. He painted on everything. There was nothing he couldn’t do.”
Botkin said that most of Enders’ paintings were based on Bible stories and the inspiration from other artists.
“Bill studied the work of other artists,” he said, “and the painting he did on Christ’s ascension was based on the work of Raphael.”
According to Botkin, the paintings are large and make quite an impression in the church.
“Bill was such a dedicated person and he wanted church members to focus on the story,” Botkin said. “The painting of the Lord’s Supper is about 10 or 12 feet long and he worked on it a long time.”
Sharlett Enders remembers that particular painting.
“It was on my dining room table for three years. I walked
around it for three years.”
The First Centerville congregation is appreciative of the artwork.
“The congregation loves the art,” Pastor Jackson said. “They love the work and thought behind the paintings, but they are even more special because they are from him.”