Author Archives: bradgriffith
Empowered to Foster

An Interview with Patrick and Misty Faircloth

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

Faith in Dancing

An Interview with Kwame Agyemang

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.

1aae_442623CA: 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.

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Worship in Painting

An Interview with Gina Hurry

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.

Gina Hurry

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.

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A “20 Year” Wait

An Interview with Ashley (and Lola) Greenway

We were very excited to hear recently that Brandon and Ashley Greenway completed the adoption of their daughter, Lottie Kate. Clement Arts supported the Greenway adoption with our Parables kids concert in the fall of 2014. Since then, Brandon and Ashley had a long wait to be matched with a birth mother and child. We spoke with Ashley (and bio daughter, Lola) about the long-awaited adoption. 

Lottie Kate GreenwayCA: When did your family begin the adoption process? What led you to the desire to adopt?

Ashley: Brandon and I both had hearts for adoption. When we were dating in high school and knew we were going to get married, we discussed building a family and adopting. We started the process in April of 2014.

CA: How was Clement Arts able to help you during your adoption process?

Ashley: Clement Arts has helped us in both emotional and financial ways with the fundraiser that was held towards the beginning of our process, along with the surprise that whole experience provided. The emotional help was probably more important to us, since the fact that we were chosen was awe inspiring in itself. Any time we would feel like it was taking too long or that we weren’t getting chosen and started to lose hope, we would use that experience as proof that we were doing God’s will and that he was supporting us the whole way. We really felt like we just sat back and watched God work through Clement Arts. The whole experience has been such a blessing and very humbling.
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Why We Serve Children Through the Arts

by Brad Griffith

There are many ways to love people. There are many ways to serve others, to exercise the gifts you have been given, to invest in someone else’s life. At Clement Arts, we are called to serve children and their families. In particular, we are called to serve children who need families as well as the families in which they are embraced. We perform this service, in love, through the arts.

Why the arts?

Here are five reasons why the arts are the best way we know how to love and serve children and families.

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