Creative evangelist Richard Hight Illustrates the Message

Church services were never the same for Richard Hight after his parents told him to “draw whatever the pastor talks about.”
“You see, I was a child that many people in the church referred to as ‘a handful,’ and I felt it was my mission to liven up the church services a bit,” Hight admitted.  “My parents desperately tried everything to keep me quiet.  When my mom told me to illustrate the messages, everything began to change.”
“I started listening to the sermons and drawing pictures of Daniel and the lion’s den and the second coming. Soon after, I accepted Christ as my Savior, and the art took on even more meaning.  I was no longer simply drawing stories, but I was illustrating the truth.”
Today, Hight, who is a member of Olivet Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has established a full-time ministry that uses art presentations to creatively communicate the gospel.
By using his artistic skills to create large (6 feet X 8 feet) canvases, he is able to inspire his audiences.  “I use art to creatively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As the audience watches, I create the canvas in minutes and then begin illustrating the message.  I also take 150 pounds of raw clay and sculpt the face of Christ in 10-15 minutes. Once completed, I take the audience through an account of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday through the resurrection and ascension.”
Hight’s art presentations have made an impression on audiences at a variety of evangelistic outreaches and events, including Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades and LifeWay’s Creative Arts Festivals.  In addition, his art presentations have been featured at Christian concerts.  He has been the opening act for a wide range of recording artists, including Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, The Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline and Third Day.
“I work hard not to let the gift eclipse the message,” he said. “Our desire is to minister and to benefit churches in as many ways as possible.”
“We also challenge people to find their God-given gifts and use them.  We each have God-given abilities that we are responsible to find, develop and then use for the Kingdom’s sake.  Sadly, most people in the church today never do.  Imagine if we learned what part of the body of Christ we were to supply and then did so.”
Leann Callaway is a Dallas-based freelance writer.

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