Local artist Tom Windham commissioned to paint portrait of Jesus by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Published 7:37 pm Saturday, August 15, 2015

Special to The Leader

BRIDGE CITY — The Windham family has been in the southeast Texas area for generations and one of Tom Windham’s special gifts is the ability to tell a story with paints and a brush. He became an accomplish artist at a very young age. His professional career began as a staff artist for the American Angler magazine. He has taught art classes in the area for many years. His murals can be seen in many churches, libraries and on the sides of buildings from Ohio to New Mexico. Some of his paintings hang in homes of Jimmy Johnson and the late Ann Richards.

His latest painting of “Christ the Good Shepherd” will be unveiled 2 p.m., Sunday, August 30th, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 945 West Roundbunch Road in Bridge City and the public is invited. A reception will follow the program. Windham will be present at the unveiling to share a video of the painting from beginning to completion. Michelle Belcher will play and sing “We Believe”.

The portrait was visualized by the church congregation in March 2014 to be the symbol of the new name of the church one year after the merger of St. Mark and Trinity Lutheran churches. Prior to the search for an artist, Johnny Greene, of Nederland, a church member went to be with Jesus, and his family and friends came together and gladly offered to donate the painting to the church in his memory. After speaking with Johnny’s widow, Pat and Pastor Paul Zoch, Tom began pondering, planning and researching his symbolic representation of his vision of Jesus, the sheep, plants, trees and flowers that are indigenous to Israel.   The portrait dimensions are 3-feet by 4-feet and is painted in oil. With the help of his son-in-law, Taylor, being the model for Jesus and his daughter, Melissa, also an artist, Windham created the painting. Windham feels that this work has been a labor of love and that he is blessed to have created this painting in honor of the late Johnny Greene and proud to have it hanging in the vestibule of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Bridge City.