When Franklin Graham looked at an open section of the Billy Graham Library and wanted to find a way to depict the heart of his father’s ministry, his mind turned to Scripture. He also wanted to find a way to inspire Library visitors to carry out the work of the Gospel in their own lives.
Immediately, Graham thought of the Parable of the Sower as told by Jesus in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8.
“The seed is the word of God. … the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop” ~ Luke 8:11-15 (NIV).
But how to visually represent this lesson?
Enter sculptor Tom White. As a self-taught artist, White has been creating public monuments since 2001. He has sculpted everything from Biblical scenes and heroes of the faith to military monuments and memorials for grieving families.
After visiting the Billy Graham Library in January 2010 with his wife, Marcey, White accepted a challenge from Franklin Graham to illustrate the Parable of the Sower in bronze. Eager to get started, he purchased some modeling clay at Hobby Lobby in Charlotte and, in his hotel room, formed the first visual. Before returning to his studio in Maine, he presented a 10-inch maquette to Graham.
The final result, unveiled at the Billy Graham Library the evening of April 19, is an eight-foot bronze sculpture that represents every faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ who carries the seed of the Gospel to their family, community, and even into the whole world.
Even the base of sculpture depicts the four soils of Scripture, representing the souls of mankind.
“The parable of the Sower who sows seed into the soil is a picture of God sowing the artistry into my heart,” said White at the unveiling. “Creating The Sower for BGEA is a fulfillment of this desire of my heart. Perhaps through this artistic form, many will be led to open the Bible and read the stories from the Sower Himself.”
Graham expressed his appreciation for the project: “Tom and Marcey White have poured their hearts into illustrating this piece according to God’s Word. Marcey brought creative structure to the base of the Sower by suggesting the four soils be illustrated just as Jesus described in Scripture and Tom has masterfully molded this piece, reminding me of the Scripture, “We are the clay, and [the Lord is] our potter…we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8 NKJV).
Plan to visit the Library May 4 through the end of June for a special exhibit that accompanies the sculpture called “Sowing the Seeds of the Gospel.” Learn more about the Library »
Help Impact the Life of a Library Visitor
It is BGEA’s calling to spread the Gospel through every available means and to every nation. One of the ways we do this is through the Billy Graham Library. Donate online today to support the Library or other ministries.