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Walker gives mural a touch up

July 2, 2013

Joni Walker works to revitalize the mural painted in the Columbia City Church of the Brethren. Photo contributed

COLUMBIA CITY — Since 1935, attendees at the brick church located at the corner of Washington and Jackson Streets, Columbia City, have faced a large, three-paneled mural during worship.

The artist’s name, Fullerton, and the year, 1935, are in the lower right-hand corner of the mural, which measures approximately 18 feet by 18 feet.

In 1935, the First Church of God worshipped in the building.

Don Culbertson was 12 years old in 1935, and remembers the night the mural was revealed.

“Sheets were on wires covering the mural. When they were let down, the whole congregation could see the painting for the first time at the same moment,” Culbertson said. “People liked the painting of Psalm 23. When we moved out of the building, we were sorry to leave the painting.”

Culbertson’s uncle, Rev. Shroyer, was pastor of the church at that time, and the painter often ate at the parsonage.

Who was Fullerton? Though questions remain, John Alfred (or AJ) Fullerton was born in Missouri, married several times and lived in Texas and Alabama. He has confirmed paintings also in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Alabama and Florida.

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