Have you ever longed for a different way to connect with God? Join Jessie Nilo, Art Minister from Boise, ID and Dr. Heather Hodges, author of A Time to Create, to explore how God the Creator can speak to us through visual art. June 3rd-5th participate in a variety of sessions that use visual art, art-making and art experiences to commune with our Creator. No matter what your previous experience with visual art, you belong. 

Register Here

COST: $85
DATE: June 3-5, 2022

Hampton Inn Green Hills - 2324 Crestmoor Rd, Nashville, TN 37215, Phone: (615) 777-0001
Ask for the Lipscomb 20% discount

Schedule of Events
(coffee and snacks provided)

7p: LARGE GATHERING - Art and Belonging with Jessie Nilo
Wondering if you’re in the right place? You are! Many of us have been rejected at some point because of our creativity; we are gathering not in spite of beauty, but because of it. 



KEY NOTE LARGE GATHERING - Heather Hodges: A Time to Create
The arts are a powerful force which have the ability to spiritually transform us and transport us into an awareness of the presence of God. The arts tell stories, communicate pain, promote healing, speak truth, and call for mercy and justice. The arts have a profound way of inspiring our minds and nurturing our souls through experiences which are beautiful and transcendent. The arts have the potential to enhance worship and serve as a catalyst for spiritual formation by integrating the whole human experience—head, heart, and hands. This session invites you on a journey to ignite a renaissance of the visual arts in worship and offers ways in which the arts can nourish the creative life of the church, praise God, and extend an avenue for spiritual transformation.


(coffee and light breakfast provided)


10:30a-12p: SESSION 1

  • Kellyn Trapp - Devotional Art Journaling for Creative Worship - Faith has always been a source of inspiration for artists, and the pages of the Bible itself are a re-discovered canvas for expression. Devotional art journaling illustrations serve to amplify the Scriptures, helping the Creative to internalize truths, healing and document their spiritual experiences in a creative and deeper way. Devotional art journaling is all about the Journaler deepening their relationship with God. Devotional Art journaling can be a combination of several art supplies, however the medium is not what is important to this journey, it's all about the process in creative worship.
  • Heather Hodges - Art History and the Church: Liturgical Uses of Art in WorshipThroughout time art has been a significant means of storytelling, worship, and self-expression. Art has also been prevalent throughout the lives of the people of God and used for devotion and praise. Visual art was essential to the early church because many people were illiterate and relied on it to nurture their faith. In the sixth century Pope Gregory the Great was credited with saying, “The picture is to the illiterate what the written word is to the educated.” However, by the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Protestants began to separate worship from what they regarded as the decadence of the arts resulting in hundreds of years when art and the church had a severely strained relationship. During this session we will explore how the arts were used as liturgical aids throughout the history of the church. We will answer the question how they lost their pride of place, and finally cast a vision to reclaim the visual arts in worship and inspire artists to once again lead the church in vibrant worship. 
  • Linda Spiars - Monoprint with Gelli Plates and a Collaboration with CollageLearn basic techniques to quickly and easily create a print then use prints to create a group image using the technique of collage.

12p-1:15p: CATERED LUNCH

1:30p-3p: SESSION 2

  • Jasmine Frost - Mess to Masterpiece: Acrylic Paint Pour ExperienceThis playful and contemplative healing art exercise through abstract paint pour will enable you to create a messy masterpiece while making peace with your past and present.
  • Tim Gagnon - Hiddur Mitzvah: The Beautification of The WordUnderstanding the Sacred Tradition of Illumination.
  • Jessie Nilo - Odd Art for the People: Art as Outreach for Your CityHow do you show God’s love to people outside the church walls? Whether you consider church ministry or a secular setting, there are exciting ways to partner with Holy Spirit to usher people into love and freedom in Christ. 
3:15p-4:45p: SESSION 3 
(coffee, water and snacks)
  • Deborah Gall - Painting as WorshipEncounter God through paint and palette knife. This workshop will have you painting with Holy Spirit with the help of author/artist Deborah Gall. Before painting, you will experience a process to tap into your creative spirit. Then you will paint your own canvas. No experience is necessary. You were created in the image of the Creator. You have creativity in you. Watch and see as Holy Spirit draws it out of you. You will end with a time of centering/contemplative prayer and give the Lord time to speak through Deborah's inspirational paintings.
  • Andrea Zahler - Visio Divina - opening our eyes to divine seeingHear the story of Visio Divina itself as it developed into a tool for spiritual formation. Be guided through a communal meditation, then spend some time practicing this way of prayer on your own.
  • Jessie Nilo - Deeply Rooted: Draw Trees Slowly and BeautifullyA strong tree does not rush to become tall. This is a time to slow down and listen for God’s love for you through dry media. Choose charcoal, pencil, or pastel on toned paper as we dwell on Psalm 1:3. Class is limited to XX conference guests, because we are also including a dozen people from the Nashville public to come create with us off the street in this workshop, as part of a ministry outreach to this city. If you attend this class, please position yourselves among our Nashville guests, and help create a welcoming presence.



LIVE PAINTING - Heather Hodges


Jasmine Frost

Jasmine Frost is an artist and expressive arts facilitator who takes joy in creating contemplative and therapeutic art experiences to promote emotional and spiritual healing, wellness, and wholeness.

Tim Gagnon
“The Fire Painter”, is an Artist and Speaker best known for creating works of art live on stage while his paint brushes are on fire. For nearly two decades, he has performed at churches, conferences, schools, and stadiums across the country. In 2008 he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Christian Life School of Theology in Columbus, GA and a Master’s in Fine Art (Painting) from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA in May of 2015. As a devout man of faith, Tim combines these disciplines in his studio work which is inspired by Medieval Illuminated Scripture. Tim incorporates texts, gold leaf and oils into narrative paintings of biblical characters and events. His work can be seen on display in Churches across the United States.
Tim founded the Gagnon Atelier in 2019 to assist churches and civic organization to reach their communities through the ARTS.

Deborah Gall

Ms. Gall began her entrepreneurial career in 1984 as a speaker and artist. In 2004 Deborah opened Abide Studio—a retail studio and art gallery—which quickly became a marketplace ministry for people to visit for prayer and counsel. Nearly ten years later, Abide Studio transitioned into a full-time art and equipping ministry of the same name and became a department of Artists in Christian Testimony, International. Abide Studio is dedicated to helping others find their way to their God-given identity and purpose.

Ms. Gall is a four-time published author, an experienced speaker, a professional visual artist, and a spiritual life coach. Her life-changing book—Created For So Much More—was published in 2017. It has been cherished by readers across the globe. Her most recent book—A Guided Journal to Soaring With God—was published in June of 2021. Deborah is committed to sharing the unconditional love of God through the spoken and written word as well as paintings that reflect her belief in and experience of the freedom available through Christ.

Heather Hodges
Dr. Heather L. Hodges is from Texas, however she had an international childhood and lived for a time in Iran, England, and France. She attended high school at both Azle High School in Texas and the American School of Paris, in France where she spent countless hours in the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay learning to love the arts.
Heather holds a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Abilene Christian University. Her doctoral thesis, A Renaissance of the Visual Arts in Worship for Churches of Christ, received recognition by Abilene Christian University for outstanding academic achievement. Heather is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University. Heather is an executive communication coach, leadership development specialist, inspirational speaker, a co-founder of Lavish Hope Ministries, and a professional artist.

Heather lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Wade. They have served in ministry together for over 25 years in Texas, Oklahoma, and Washington State. They have two grown sons, Caleb and Elijah.

Heather is passionate about helping others tap into their creativity and use their gifts to serve one another and glorify God.

Jessie Nilo
Jessie Nilo is the founder of God Loves Art, and has worked in art ministry for 20 years. She is an illustrator and live painter working in acrylic and public murals. Jessie frequently creates live art around her hometown of Boise, Idaho. She received a BA in Graphic Design and a BFA in Illustration (Boise State, 2006). In 2004 she founded VineArts, a community of artists at her church who gathered to love God, edify the church, serve their city, and grow artistically. She loves to empower and heal communities through beauty, especially people who were never encouraged to create growing up. Jessie loves providing art expression for underserved populations and believes we can build bridges through beauty in times when the rest of culture wants to put up walls. Jessie currently teaches the principles and foundations of art ministry internationally, with dozens of students enrolled in her online classes from around the world. Join Jessie's fall cohort, Foundations of Art Ministry, a 4-month ministry school taught completely online at 

Linda Spires
Linda Spires, creator of Call to Art, has merged her passion for God, art, and people. Over the years, she has created murals, live performance paintings, and creative displays for church ministries and community events.  After becoming an “empty nester “she began studying painting and photography at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. She has trained with Foundations Art Ministry School and Created Art Ministry.  She has exhibited at the PCA gallery, the Nash Club, West Valley Arts Council gallery, New City Studio, and more.  

As director for Call to Art, Linda has led a team to develop themed art shows which include group projects and interactive community art projects. The group project, Endured, was featured in the the West Valley View and the Southwest section of the Arizona Republic and has been a traveling exhibit. 
Linda has co-led Captured Light, a club for photographers. With her partners she has given photographers opportunity for growth, community, and exhibition in the Phoenix area.

In addition, Linda has facilitated workshops for emerging artists, one-on-one sessions, and gatherings for creative people. She has worked together with others to create a dynamic environment to expose the church to visual art and to expose the world to God. 

Kellyn Trapp

Kellyn is Founder of Bloom In Art, Creative Instructor and Mixed Media Artist.  She embraced creative worship through Bible art journaling in 2018 when she felt that her relationship with God was not Christ centered and intimate.  She was looking for more from the Living Word and God led her to Him through art and transformed her heart. Self taught and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Kellyn strives to live by example and continues to inspire and teach others to find healing and joy through Art and Jesus.  

Andrea Zahler

After graduating from Harding University with degrees in English and Vocational Ministry, Andrea went to China where she taught at a university in Wuhan for two years. She then moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a campus ministry internship with a local church which turned into a full-time position. In addition to campus ministry, while in Alabama she began volunteering for World Vision as a project coordinator with their Child Ambassador Program. Six years and one M. A. in Ministry from Lipscomb later, Andrea moved to California to work at Pepperdine University. There, she served the student community as Associate Director of Residence Life, supervisor of the Spiritual Life Advisor Program, adjunct professor for Communications, SEED facilitator, and Devotional Chair of the Pepperdine Legacy Partners. Since 2019, Andrea has worked as the Associate Director of Spiritual Development and Engagement for Missions at Lipscomb University.  In this role, she supports volunteer leaders as they form and prepare teams for short term missions.