Farish Street Baptist Church celebrates “African Americans and the Arts”

Gail Gettis with her art PHOTOS BY CARMEN CASTILLA

By Jackie Hampton,


Johnnie Mae Mayberry, Ph.D. displaying one of her art pieces

Farish Street Baptist Church, pastored by Reverend Hickman M. Johnson, held its final 2024 celebration of Black History Month Sunday, February 25. 

The theme for the celebration, “African Americans and the Arts,” featured guest soloist Katie Graham of Atlanta, Georgia, and two Mississippi artists who are natives of Jackson. 

Graham sang selections in tribute of BHM with the power of the late and great American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.

The featured artists, Gail Gettis and Johnnie Mae Mayberry, Ph.D., are both retired art educators and seasoned visual artists. 

The program coordinator, Alberta Smith, introduced and provided a brief biographical overview of the visual artists. Both Gettis and Mayberry spoke about the people and experiences that provided inspiration for their artistic endeavors, past and present. Samples of their artwork were displayed in the church sanctuary.

A reception followed in the fellowship hall, where other works were available for viewing and purchase, including Dr. Mayberry’s recently published book, God Said, “It is Good!” The book has a spiritual message from biblical passages, Genesis 1: 1-27, adorned with her own illustrations.

Alberta Smith, program coordinator and Gail Gettis, artist

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