Green Puts His Faith In Focus
First Baptist Church Pastor David Green ministers in the ways typically expected of a pastor, from the pulpit and in his church.
But he also ministers in a unique way: from behind his camera.
“My faith affects the way I approach photography,” Green said. “I want to see the world the way God sees it.”
He has always been interested in photography, but first began taking it seriously during a mission trip to Italy.
Green and a team of others traveled through Italy in hopes of partnering with existing Baptist churches with mission opportunities for Tennessee Baptist churches and took several pictures to catalog his trip. When he returned home he showed them to a friend, Cliff Ammons, who is also a photographer.
“He encouraged me to think more seriously about photography as a hobby, and took the time to teach me how to better understand and use my camera,” Green said.
Ammons also taught him how to edit photos on computer software.
Green says it’s thanks to Ammons’ encouragement that he’s still doing photography.
Landscape, cityscape, macrophotography and travel photography are Green’s favorite genres.
His work has been featured in an exhibit, “The Lens of Life,” at the Mason House Gallery at the General Morgan Inn this month. Sunday is the last day to view the photos.
Many of the photos in the exhibit are landscape, including local locations Viking Mountain, Holly Creek and Grandfather Mountain.
Others are pictures of city buildings, bridges and doors.
“I hope that my photography helps people to see that all of life is a gift from God. ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein,’” Green said in a news release about the exhibit, quoting Psalm 24:1. “My goal is to illustrate a moment of truth with clarity and simplicity. I have been blessed to see different parts of the world while serving as a minister in the local church.”
Green’s photo “Shine Down on Me” has special meaning because it’s where a man he spoke to about Jesus got saved. It was taken on his second trip to Italy, when he served as an interim pastor in a Rome Baptist church during his sabbatical in 2013. Green said that the man had heard about Christ and that He died on the cross, but had never related it to himself.
Green had the opportunity to practice and study photography as he learned to share his faith in a multicultural environment.
“People would see me walking around and taking photos in the city and would ask me about my photos and what I was doing in Rome,” Green said. “This would open doors for me to share my faith with them.”
Green sees parallels between photography and faith.
Photography is all about focus, framing the shot, perspective, mood and capturing a moment in time with truth and clarity. When a person receives biblical salvation through faith in Christ, their life changes. Their focus, perspective and life view are altered, he said.
Roughly 95 percent of Green’s photos are directly related to missions and ministry. He hopes his pictures communicate a biblical worldview to others.
“I enjoy using photography to meet people and share my faith with them,” Green said.