Glorious Ruins

When we launched The Grace Mask I photographed all of my sessions in my garage. It was January, it was cold, it was dirty, but it was all I had to work with. I kept telling myself “all great success stories begin in a garage, right?” I may have started The Grace Mask in my garage, but God was way ahead of me…


Before I ever started praying for a studio space, He was working behind the scenes to bring me to this place.

In October of 2014, after 18 months of research, paperwork, sacrifice, faith, prayer, and with the help of an awesome legal team we were issued a collector’s  deed to this little abandoned church building. My heart is just full of anticipation. I cannot wait to share the entire story in great detail. Like all great stories, it’s best told in chapters over time. But I will give you a bit of background…

It was one of those places you just wonder about. We saw the back of it many years ago while walking the South Creek Greenway trail which connects to the Wilson’s Creek Greenway in Southwest Springfield. I remember thinking…

There just HAS to be a story here…

But we were busy with a new baby boy and neck-deep in our wedding photography business to wonder for long about the story. We didn’t venture back to that part of the trail again.

And then in April of 2013, after launching this blog and praying for The Lord to provide a studio space that “looked like a little white country church” I drove past it again. I must have driven past it 100 times before on the way to the Wilson’s Creek trail head. I stopped my minivan and stared at it and the Holy Spirit clearly whispered,

“There it is. I’m going to give this place to you for a studio.”

And I believed Him.

I will fill in the rest over time…

As we begin the process of restoring this 100 year old church building I invite you and your family to come and be a part of the process. We have been blown away by the support we have received from our family, church friends, and the Springfield community. If you would like to help us, we would LOVE to have you. Here are some great ways to support this project:

  • Tell your story! There is no fee for your session. – But all profits from the optional purchase of story magazine and book sales and all other printed products from your photo session go DIRECTLY to support our work here at The Grace Mask blog and this renovation project! I am all in to minister with my camera and this blog and God will provide all I need to continue that work. I trust Him.
  • Follow the Facebook page for The Grace Mask. All work days and updates will be posted on the Facebook page because that is where everyone seems to go for news these days.
  • Let us know if you wish to give your time, talent, and resources. Below is a list of immediate needs. If you see something you can help with, CONTACT US. We will be so excited to hear from you!

Immediate needs for the renovation project in the order needed include:

    • Removal of the chimney. Covering the roof with a tarp. (Praying for funds and good weather to do this on 12/13/14)
    • Final cleanup inside: We hauled off 1600 lbs. of debris on 11/1/14 and we estimate there are about 2-3 more truck loads of debris left inside.
    • Help removing trash and yard waste dumped at the property. (Almost done!)
    • Clearing dead wood, trimming up trees, removing tree in front of the building.
    • Inspection of building structure for asbestos and stability of frame and foundation.
    • Removal of salvageable items inside.
    • Storage for salvageable items.
    • Pray for us! I cannot WAIT to see this pretty little white church all finished with the lights on again! It will serve as so much more than a studio space! God knew what would get me motivated to go after this property but He had so much more in mind. He’s not finished with it yet… So Let the Ruins Come to Life!
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