Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jesus in the air

Dave, the nighttime DJ at the now-defunct WNDA in Huntsville. I worked one shift a week at this station from June to December 1995. Such is my experience as a radio disc jockey.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Takin' it to the streets

This was the storefront for Vincent Furniture in Cullman, Ala. There were several Scriptures on various windows of the store.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Liberty wagon

This van was parked on the Beltline in Decatur, Ala.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bus stop

This isn't really a bus stop. Somebody decided to make money by selling ads on benches, but there aren't any bus stops in Decatur, Ala., so they just put benches on the side of the road, and somebody bought this message.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jesus is alive and well

And, we presume, at other times as well. Outside a storefront church in Alabama.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Unto you is born this day ...

This spot, in a cave beneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, is believed to be the exact place Jesus was born. I shot it on a trip to the Holy Land in 1999.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jesus Christ, the cornerstone

The church I grew up in, and was married in, in Cullman, Ala.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh, joy

My friend Liz got this result trying to get her son to act out the letters he was holding.

She says:
All I want for Christmas is to make a Christmas card to
share with people. I mean really, we have so much to rejoice and share
with others. I had an idea in my head of what it would look like.
You know, the kids would smile perfectly the first time the shutter snapped,
they would be in focus, and the lighting would show that the kids were made for
movies. Also, I have been wrapping my mind around how to express the joy
and hope that our family can testify too. But alas, kids are moving
targets. It’s cold outside and dark inside. I don’t have words to
share our happiness perfectly. I guess, this is all because nothing is
perfect, but our Father. Even when He shares his blessings with us, we are
still imperfect humans living life the best we can. I still strive for the
“perfect” life, and when I do I am sorely disappointed. I just gotta keep
it real.

Monday, December 22, 2008

20 Hanukkahs ago

I shot this for a newspaper story on Hanukkah in 1988, so just add 20 years to every person in the photo -- and to the photographer. I know this is off theme for this blog, but the mother had been raised Presbyterian or Episcopalian by Jewish parents who had converted. And the oldest daughter is from a previous marriage to a Christian, so the family had to put a Christmas tree in the living room for when the grandparents visited. You could see it when they opened that room divider in the background of the shot. So these kids got dreidels and stocking stuffers.

In concert

At Gardendale's First Baptist Church in Gardendale, Ala.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Parlez vous?

At Gardendale's First Baptist Church in Gardendale, Ala.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


From a program at Gardendale's First Baptist Church in Gardendale, Ala.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good news

Outside the old federal courthouse in Birmingham, Ala.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jesus saves The Nudes

City Stages in Birmingham, Ala. about 1996. The band members were fully clothed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't go to hell

Posted on the back of a street sign in Birmingham.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pink Advent candle of joy

Today is the third Sunday in Advent, which is celebrated by lighting the pink candle, representing joy. We celebrate on this blog with this pink Floyd the barber.

Another Jesus in Alabama

I did a search on "Jesus in Alabama" before I started this blog to make sure nobody else had used the name. I found this photo on Flikr with the title, but since it was only a single page I carried on with my original idea.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Love Your Enemies

Sidewalk on Southside Birmingham outside Nomad Supply.
(Photo courtesy Heather Purcell)

Friday, December 12, 2008

More than skin deep

This guy was a Christian tattoo artist in Bessemer, Ala. He was thinking of putting J-E-S-U-S on his other forearm, but it was a valuable piece of real estate, so he really wanted to put a picture there, not just letters. I got in the "Jesus" by sitting him in front of a Harley logo rewritten "Jesus Christ: Heavenly Divine Son."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Signs and wonders

I shot this guy when I worked for a newspaper in Jasper, Ala. I had been sent on a story that turned out to be a wild goose chase. I saw this guy walking up the highway on my way to the story and prayed I'd be able to find him on the way back. Prayers answered, there he was. He consented to an interview, explaining that God had told him to have a sign made with "Look Unto Jesus" written on it. It said something else on the other side, but the guy admitted he'd just made that one up himself. He wrote me a really nice note thanking me for not making fun of him in the story.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not kosher

A barbecue joint in Hartselle, Ala. The copy editor in me must point out that it should say "When no one else cares." As written it's saying that Jesus is no one. And I'm not even going to mention that ellipses are composed of three dots ...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

At Brother Bryan Park

My friend Beau at Brother Bryan park in Southside Birmingham.
(Photo courtesy Heather Purcell)
Click the picture to enlarge.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The An-Tee Christ

Fail Blog has found a batch of Jesus T-shirts at Wal-Mart for an ungodly price.

Narrow(er) is the road

This shot is the opening for the book project, intended to be the cover. I ended up using it for a Web site I wrote fiction and commentary on.

I shot the pictured in Lacon, Ala., between Cullman and Decatur.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


"Jesus in Alabama" began as a photojournalism project that I intended to make into a book. Two publishers said no, including one owned by the newspaper where I work. Still, the other encouraged me to seek others publishers but to call them back in a year if I was unsuccessful. I ended up getting a full-time job and buying a house within that year, and I dropped the project out of time constraints.

I continued shooting pictures whenever I saw them. This blog will contain those pictures and videos I've shot of the name "Jesus." I welcome submissions from readers -- and they don't have to be in Alabama. Be creative and don't limit yourself to "Jesus" as a written word. Pictures or statues are fine, and feel free to send in "God" submissions.

This project isn't intended to be sacrilegious, so please don't submit that type of thing,. It won't be used. (But they can be humorous.) The purpose is to highlight a part of society that burns with a mission to share Jesus with the world. Whether you are a believer, a skeptic or somewhere in between, this site is intended to make you feel at home.

-- Owen Tew