As part of a photojournalism class in fall 2017, Appalachian State University junior Anna Rawls had to create a photo story on something in the community that intrigued her.
Soon, she was introduced to King Street Church, a small, nomadic worshiping community that gives “a fresh expression of church in downtown Boone marked by brutal honesty and radical acceptance.”
“She asked her older sister, Meredith Rawls, an App State alumna, if there was anything great that went on in Boone while she lived here that people might not know about,” Luke Edwards, King Street Church pastor, said. “She told Anna about King Street Church, and Anna was drawn to our mission and story.”
Rawls followed King Street Church around, taking photos at the church’s various meetings and mission work projects across the area.
“I’m grateful for the way Anna has documented what King Street Church represents, a church that’s always on the move, following Christ where he leads us; to the pub, to the coffee shop, to the homeless shelter, to the jail, and down to the river,” Edwards explained.
What began as a class assignment turned into a labor of love.
“Anna has been a particular gift to King Street Church,” Edwards said. “Not only did she take beautiful snapshots of our wild little Christian community, but she also became a part of our community, getting to know our folks, participating in discussions. She walked alongside us for the semester and is now a part of us. She has a gift for blending in with her camera, not making folks uncomfortable. Not all photographers can do that.”
Edwards expressed gratitude for Rawls — who has spent the last week in Nicaragua with App State’s Alternative Spring Break — and her work with King Street Church.
“As we journey together, we welcome people into our family who have often been forgotten by our community, but never forgotten by God,” Edwards explained. “When all of us gather around a table, proclaiming the love of God to one another, something incredible happens that no photograph could capture, but Anna comes pretty close.”
Editor’s note: These photos were originally taken in black and white.