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The "Ascension of the Black Christ"

Gordon R. Girvan of Toronto gifted the "Ascension of the Black Christ" painting to First Baptist Church in 1980. Girvan, president of the American Society of Travel Agents, met the artist Hector Whistler in Barbados where the painting was created in 1954. The artist is the nephew of the famous Whistler known for painting his grandmother in a rocking chair.

The painting, oil on canvas, measuring about four by seven feet, portrays Christ as a black man ascending to heaven surrounded by disciples and angels. Girvan, retired by 1980 and residing in Central Park Lodge, hoped the congregation would find as much inspiration and joy in the painting as he did. The artwork, renowned worldwide, has been showcased in ecumenical congresses and exhibitions, bringing pleasure to Girvan as he generously donated it to the Church.

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