A Creative Church by Todd Smith is a short nonfiction novel that focuses on a renewal of the Arts in Protestant and Catholic Churches around the world. Many people continue to have questions about the purpose of the Arts in the life of the church and this novel answer those questions through major developments in Art from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The author focuses on all aspects of church creativity including Theatre, Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Photography, Theology, and Education.
One of the first Christian based organizations of fine arts was the Chautauqua society of Fine arts which was started in 1885 in Chautauqua, New York. This all started when John Heyl Vincent, a Methodist episcopal minister, created a summer camp there in 1874.
In 1976, Glen Eshelman founded Pennsylvania based Sight & Sound Theatre, reported to be the “largest faith-based live theatre in the country.” The Mission of the organization is to “present the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sow the Word of God into the lives of our customers, guests and fellow workers by visualizing and dramatizing the scriptures, through inspirational production, encouraging others and seeking always to be dedicated and wise stewards of our God-given talents and resources.”
Lancaster, PA 2,000 Seat Theatre
By 2012, the organization’s facilities featured two state-of the-art 2,000 seat theaters and an array of biblically based dramas, with nearly a million visitors in attendance in that year alone. I have attended many performance at the theater including, In the Beginning and Noah.
Numerous artists have appeared at Creation Festivals including Chuck Girard, Larry Norman, The Resurrection Band, Amy Grant, The Newsboys, DC Talk, Burlap to Cashmere, Phil Keaggy, TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Switchfoot, Skillet, David Crowder, and Hawk Nelson.
David Crowder At Creation Festival
I enjoyed learning about how creative the church has become and all the artistic ways that god has used his creation to reach out to people.