John the Baptist was an idea I had when I first became a Christian in 1999. My hope was that it would find a home at Hudson Community Chapel (now Christ Community Chapel).
Even before I did much work on the piece, I was receiving some guidance. “Don’t make the figure too imposing.” “ We don’t want an religious icon.” My rationale was that the Bible is full of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. This was certainly true of John the Baptist. Statues of famous people are found throughout our culture, so why not in the church?
In starting this piece I had trouble with the setting and pose. Once I decided to have him standing on an uneven rock, everything worked. His leg muscles need to work to keep him balanced. His clothing is my interpretation of the bible verse Mark1:6 that talks about him being dressed in clothes made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist.
When it came time to show the piece to the pastors at Hudson Community Chapel, they seemed pleased with it. At that point it was still in plasticene which is an oil based clay. One of the pastors recommended adding an inscription on the rock. The choice as obvious, John 1:29 “ Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
I worked on this piece for about 8 months before it was ready to go to the foundry for casting. There have been three editions made. One is in Christ Community Chapel, in Hudson Ohio. One is in Cross Point Church in Newport, Rhode Island. I have the third one in my home.