Brad Griffith launched Clement Arts in 2012 as a means for artists, musicians, and writers to use their gifts to the glory of God and for the care of orphans. His family also pursues this cause through providing foster care to children. Brad practices writing in many forms, whether songs, poems, or blogs. He lives in Salem, AL with his wife and three children, the youngest of whom was adopted from foster care.
CA: How and when did Clement Arts begin? How did God call you to this ministry?
Clement Arts began in the fall of 2012 as a way to merge two things I am very passionate about — creativity and orphan care. I arrived at that place through a work of God in my own family. My wife and I felt a possible call of God to adopt, but mostly we just knew we had to do something for the sake of a child or children. (We have since become foster parents and are in the process of adopting a little boy.) At the time, we weren’t sure what that calling meant, but I had some friends who were already in the adoption process. At the same time, I was recording an album of original songs. A desire grew to use that project to benefit my friend’s adoption. Through that process, I became aware of and connected with another adoptive family at my church, and God began to show me the need that exists for so many adoptive families when they receive the call in faith, trusting Him to work out the costly financial side of adoption. So Clement Arts was born out of a desire to answer that need through the creative gifts of God’s people. From there, we connected to more and more families and artists as the ministry began to grow
CA: Did you ever expect for the ministry to grow into what it is now?
Yes and no. It’s interesting that we started this ministry with basically no money and no experience in the non-profit world. But I think if a ministry is worth doing at all then it’s worth giving it our best and seeing what the Lord does with it. So I always felt like Clement Arts had a lot of potential to do much good because we have a God who multiplies loaves and fish. Continue reading
Patrick and Misty Faircloth are from Oklahoma, but they have been calling Columbus home since June 2015. They have one adult daughter whom they adopted as a teenager from the foster care system while Patrick was stationed in Oklahoma. They worship at Christ Community Church in Columbus where they have recently started a foster care ministry, Empowered to Foster. Patrick is a musician in the US Army and formerly was a public school band director, and he is currently in graduate school working on a degree in counseling. Misty is a former band director, now full-time college student again, working on a degree in diagnostic medical sonography. They are grandparents to an amazing two-year-old little boy and have been formally involved in foster care since 2010 when they became foster parents in Oklahoma.
CA: How did you become involved with foster care?
Our own foster care story began in 2009 when Misty had a seventh-grade band student who was very open about the fact that she was in “the system”. Toward the end of that school year, this very troubled band-kid named Jasmin was removed from her current foster care placement and placed into a shelter. She would not get to finish the school year at the school, and Misty began to inquire about how to help Jasmin finish the school year in one school, for one of the only times in Jasmin’s 14-year life. We began to discuss the possibility of becoming a home for Jasmin and gave our information to her case-worker. God had not blessed us with a biological child, and we had not really considered fostering. Jasmin needed a home, and we had one. God made it clear that His plan was for us to become foster parents for Jasmin. We went through the certification process and then waited for the time that Jasmin would be ready to move in with us. Although we had stayed in contact with Jasmin at her most recent placement, nothing prepared us for the day we went to pick her u Continue reading
We are excited to have Kwame Agyemang teaching our hip hop dance class for the spring 2017 semester! Kwame was born in Detroit, MI and moved to Columbus, GA with his family in 1990. He is professionally trained in hip hop and desires to proclaim the grace and truth of God by the Holy Spirit in all that he does, especially when it comes to hip hop choreography.
CA: How long have you been dancing and how did you become interested?
Kwame: I’ve been serious about dance since the age of 12. I’ve always been interested in dance. As a kid I used to watch hip hop dance movies for hours. I also used to attend talent shows, and during that time I couldn’t stop thinking about and desiring to move like the dancers I saw.
CA: What drew you to teaching hip hop?
When I was 13 I started my first dance group. I truly enjoyed the time we spent practicing and learning. I wanted to continue to do that for other people. Through the years the Lord allowed me to teach many people, and now that I’ve been captured by grace, I desire to continue teaching by faith.
CA: What is your favorite part of teaching hip hop?
I truly enjoy teaching people about the history of hip hop. Some people don’t know the history, so it’s a pleasure to connect the history with the present. Also, the hip hop culture is a part of who I am. I enjoy expressing that through dance.
We are excited to have Gina Hurry join us this year for Poets, Painters, & Storytellers 2016. Gina is an artist from Birmingham, Alabama, who strives to reflect the heart of God through her art. We spoke with Gina about how God reveals Himself to her through painting and why she is excited to be a part of this event.
CA: When did you first know you loved painting, and what drew you to that art form?
Gina: I’ve been an “artist” for as long as I can remember. My first “painting” memory was marking the walls of our family home with my mother’s lipstick when I was two or three years old. I grew up at the feet of other artists in their studios and can’t remember a time when I was not painting and responding to life this way. I was drawn to painting as an expression and also as a way to pour out and process my heart and feelings in a more abstract, subversive way since my family was not drawn to processing openly.
CA: How does God reveal Himself to you through your craft?
Gina: God is good to reveal himself to me in the process. Most times the process is hard and messy and humbling, but it seems He allows me the freedom to wrestle and create by faith, and He brings me to the end of myself as I stumble into finding the completion of each piece.
My “craft” begins in my mind, which is stirred through the world around me: in nature, worship, corporate prayer, reading scripture, conversations with friends, and life experiences. My imagination is stirred as I listen to life. I see His kindness and beauty in all of these things, and many times I’m inspired to respond with paint.