Ecumenism Series: Calling

Hey there friends, my name is Meshali Mitchell.  I am a portrait artist, story teller, and lover of Christ and people-Born and raised in a small town in South Arkansas and now residing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

I was brought up in a minister’s home in a “religious” part of the country, in what some people call the “Bible belt”, on deep Christian values.

We attended a Church in the Assemblies of God denomination, which is very known for its charisma and Spirit led environment.  I love my church upbringing and hold it dear and still carry and practice what I was taught to this day.  I knew growing up my friends attended different churches, but it wasn’t until middle school, I began to pick up on the fact that most of us that professed Christianity went to different churches with cultures unlike my church, and what I later learned were called different “denominations.”

Christ has always been at the center of my heart and life, and I’ve worked to hold true to Biblical teachings and God’s Word being my truth and ultimate authority.  

The doctrinal position of my Church is framed in a classical Pentecostal and an evangelical context. It is Trinitarian and holds the bible as divinely inspired and the infallible authoritative rule of faith and our conduct. We place a strong emphasis on the fulfillment of the Great Commission and believe this is the ultimate calling of the Church. 

I’ve always had a love and respect for my Catholic friends.

A couple things I’ve always admired is the focus and service to the downtrodden, poor and needy.  The biblical “walking out” of that command to love all. My Catholic friends have things in common I’ve noticed: a deep respect for the Church, a strong commitment to their faith, and a kindness about them.  

Growing up, one of my closest friends went to the Catholic church and invited me to a service.

There were many vast differences I noticed immediately in our church doctrine and cultures, but we stood on common ground of our love for Jesus and our deep need for Him as Savior.  Growing up, and now as an adult, I’ve had several close people in my life of the Catholic faith. 

One that influenced me in a deep way is a friend’s Grandmother, who is of the Catholic faith.

I would go to her house and we would talk about our journeys with Christ.  She is in her late 80’s and has much wisdom to share with my 35 year old self-for a couple years. I would go and soak up deep levels of wisdom from her.  She has a strong commitment to Christ and the Church, and our talks taught me and blessed me.  There was a darkness in her life that she walked through early on that Christ really carried her in and she shared about that season of her life with me.

I will carry the wisdom she imparted to me forever.

I think the calling of the Church is to go into all the world, sharing the gospel, the Good news of Jesus and how He came to set us free.  As church denominations work together better to love and share, I believe we will shake the Earth with the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
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We LOVE Meshali.  We we are so thankful she said yes to participating in our Bellator Society Ecumenism series.  She is a personal friend and we have been blessed not only by her genuine gift of friendship, but also by her incredible gifts and talents.  Have you seen our Bellator bio photos?  Y’all.  The beauty of her art is that she captures with her lens the love and loveliness you hope is really there in the world.  Her heart is for the Lord and we are really just the most fortunate human beings to have her in our lives.
You can find more Meshali here and here.  Go!  Be bathed in her beauty. 
Love, Fran and Tracy

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