The HISTORY of
RE-VISIONING: The HISTORY of ASBC IMAGES
We are currently re-visioning our sacred space and its images and symbols. As part of that, we are taking a close look at the paintings, plaques, banners and artwork in the Sanctuary and exploring what they mean to us, convey to others about us, and whether they still accurately represent our core values. As we go forward, we want to be more intentional about what images we choose to represent the church. We asked members of the church to tell us what they know about these images and how they got here. When you scroll over the images, you can see what ASBC parishioners had to say.
Quilt Square created by congregant Denise Lassen for the National Covid Quilt in honor of Aida Mercedes Suazo Everett was born 10/29/27 in Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana. She loved learning, church and graduated from nursing school in the Dominican Republic. She came to the US in 1950. She married Oritt Stephen Everett 09/13/53, moved to Chicago while Oritt served during the Korean War. Later they settled in Brooklyn, had 3 children, Gilda, Mercedes, and Adolph.
Quilt Square created by congregant Denise Lassen for Oritt Stephen Everett was born 10/22/27 in La Ceiba, Honduras. As a boy, he helped his father in the family bakery, and was an altar boy in the Anglican Church. He came to the US in 1953 and served during the Korean War. He went AWOL to marry Aida Mercedes Suazo, then shipped to Japan and Korea. He and Aida later settled in Brooklyn. He worked in commercial bakeries in Brooklyn, had 5 children Gilda, Mercedes, and Adolph. Oritt and Feron.
“The picture is by one of the early members of Bethlehem Evangelical and Reformed Church. His granddaughter was treasurer of Bethlehem at the time of our merger. He was not a trained painter, but it has a homey warmth.” —Rev. Bill Nye “This painting was painted by a relative of Edie Hansen.” — Denise Lassen
“The brass memorial with the picture of Jesus blessing the (white) children has an inscription.” —Rev. Bill Nye “I’m not sure but I think it was a picture that may have hung in All Souls Sunday School room when I was a child. But it also could have been part of Bethlehem church’s collection. It’s a familiar church picture from that era.” —Denise Lassen
“Carol McClennon and I found this when cleaning out the church basement about 5 years ago. We decided to hang it up as we both like the diversity that it showed.” —Denise Lassen
“This was painted for ASBC and given as a gift by the daughter of a woman who worshipped here for many years.” —Rev. Tom Martinez.
This painting was painted by Edie Hansen’s relative (same person who painted “Mary & Child”).” — Denise Lassen
Photo by Reverend Tom Martinez of children lining up for the Feast of Saint Thomas parade on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn.
“My mom, Toni Rowe, did lots of painting, arts, crafts, photography. She also participated at any senior center available around Brooklyn. She never tired of meeting new friends and creating art." -David Rowe
“I was asked by a church member if I would make a wall hanging for the sanctuary. I started to envision our church as a tree with its branches reaching outward to everyone and the leaves holding them close." —Denise Lassen
“My niece had an assignment. She needed to write an essay but was unsure what to write. I told her to write Outside Looking In. We would both write. Raquel asked me to do a poem that reflects ASBC so I told her of this one and gave it to the church.” — Claudette Mclennon
Donated by Kim Barra, this is from a series created in 2017 by Shephard Fairey for the Women’s March of that year. Like this one, the series depicts people identified as vulnerable in the present political climate—Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, and LGBTQ people among them.
“This was purchased on behalf of the church with church funds by a committee headed by our Assistant Minister at the time Matthew Westfox and his wife Meg.” —Denise Lassen
“Brooklyn artist Juan Carlos Pinto painted this in 2014 ust after Trayvon Martin was killed and the world was ripping apart." — Reverend Tom Martinez. “When I brought my nephews to church for the first time, they liked how friendly everyone was and Ermiyas really enjoyed Tom’s sermon about Trayvon. He liked the fact that Tom was talking abut pertinent current events." ---Gilda Everett
This banner was selected for the church by Reverend Tom Martinez.
“This was donated by longtime member and long-time Church Council President June Kowal. She was a no-nonsense woman who ran a tight ship at church and council meetings but her deep spirituality is reflected in this plaque.”—Denise Lassen