52• south mississippi scene
The magnificent tapestry of Christ praying in the gardenwas handmade in a small vil-lage near Beijing, China. Formany years members of theFirst Baptist Church inBrookhaven, Mississippi, hadwanted something worshipfuland beautiful to be placed inthe baptistry area. This wasdiscussed with Mrs. DawnBrown, an interior decoratorfrom Covington, Louisiana,who suggested using a tapes-try.Pastor Robert E. Self andothers decided to use Christ’sexperience in the Garden of Gethsemene, as portrayed inone of the stained glass win-dows in the Fellowship Hall, because it was Jesus’ obedienceto God’s will at this time thatled to His crucifixion and res-urrection.Asem Zeini, a local paintingcontractor and talented artist,rendered his interpretation of the scene in an oil painting.Mrs. Elay Doyle, owner of Peel& Company in Covington,Louisiana, took the painting toChina, where arrangements tohave the tapestry woven had been made. Mrs. Brown andMrs. Doyle made several tripsto China to assist in colorselections to be used in dyingthe wool and to oversee theweaving of the tapestry.The tapestry is 22 feet highand 24 feet wide and, accord-ing to the weavers, is thelargest ever made in their area.There are 100 knots per squareinch, making a total of 7.6 mil-lion hand tied knots in the tap-estry. There were as many as18 weavers working on the tap-estry at one time, and it tookalmost two years to completeall phases of the work.Initially, the Chinese werereluctant to undertake the tap-estry because of its size.However, upon learning thatthe man in the painting was aspiritual leader and that thetapestry would be used in aplace of worship, they felt hon-ored and agreed to make thetapestry. When the weaversexpressed a desire to know
Reverend Greg Warnock, pastor of First BaptistChurch, welcomes many visitors to Brookhaven whoare interested in viewing the magnificent tapestry ofJesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemene.