Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Artist Robert Cothran created a five-panel mural in front of Peace Community Church to show the congregation welcomes everyone. It’s been erected in a time when race and LGBT relations are very much in the nation’s collective consciousness.
One church is making a political statement with a five-panel rainbow mural: Its doors are open to all, regardless of skin color or sexual orientation.
Painter Robert Cothran created the five-panel mural at Peace Community Church on Rt. 511.
It was prompted by both the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this June on marriage equality and the rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the wake of police shootings across the nation.
“I wanted it to be really eye catching,” Cothran said. “It’s intended to convey the doors of that little church is wide open.”
The mural shows a rainbow flag, the rallying symbol for people in the LGBT community, flowing from the left two panels to the center and a second flag, standing for racial harmony, moving from the right two panels to the center.
They are united in the middle by a cross.
Cothran undertook the project after receiving an email from the Rev. Steve Hammond, who asked church members to think of a way to show the public the congregation does not shut its doors on anyone.
“I think the way Bob did it was so helpful,” said Hammond, who reported a lot of positive feedback from both within the congregation and without.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.