“Be Still: A Storefront Church in Durham” Photographs by Kristin Bedford

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Via CDS Porch:

On Thursday, September 12, a reception for an exhibit of photographs by Kristin Bedford will be held on the Duke University campus, with remarks by MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts director Tom Rankin. Be Still: A Storefront Church in Durham features Bedford’s images of Apostolic Deliverance Rebirth Outreach Ministries in Durham, North Carolina. “On a Sunday in July 2012, I attended a church service in the front room of a small storefront in East Durham,” writes Bedford. “I was told that the church, led by the young Pastor Lonnie Dubois, had only started meeting the Sunday before. . . . I returned the following Sunday and asked if I could take photographs during the service. With the church’s permission, I began what would become a ten-month exploration of this sanctuary. . . .

Be Still: A Storefront Church in Durham
Thursday, September 12, 5:30–7 p.m.
Allen Building Gallery, 2d Floor
Duke University West Campus
421 Chapel Dr., Durham, North Carolina

The exhibit will be on view through December 13, 2013
Gallery hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–7 p.m.

“There is a legacy of depicting African American religious worship in storefront churches—or other nontraditional religious spaces such as tent revivals or river baptisms—in its more ecstatic manifestations. . . . While attending Apostolic Deliverance, I found myself drawn to quite a different aspect of worship: to moments of devotional solitude and contemplative silence. The storefront space itself amplifies this quiet undercurrent. Remnants of the building’s earlier inhabitants—a bank vault, utility closets, electrical wiring—are always in sight. There are no traditional architectural cues, like stained glass windows or vaulted ceilings, to kindle a religious experience. . . . Whatever spirit is in the room belongs solely to the worshippers. Pastor Dubois once preached, ‘God wants us to stand still. If we are still, the openings will appear, and the devil will be taken out the back door.’ The small storefront on the corner of Angier and Driver . . . might be just enough space for a congregation to find this liberating stillness. By taking these photos, and now sharing them with you, I am hoping to change the way we imagine faith in such a setting. Perhaps we may even find our own stillness as observers, and help take the devil out back for a while.”

Kristin Bedford is a photographer and an MFA candidate in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University, Class of 2014. She holds a BA in religion from George Washington University with an emphasis on American religious traditions. For more information and to see additional projects, visit kristinbedford.com.

via CDS Porch