Pastor spreads colorful religion

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Pastor Scott Blazek of Immanuel Lutheran Church displays some of the work he created for children’s coloring books featuring Bible characters and stories.

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

While his day job is being pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, the Rev. Scott Blazek spends much of his time doing artwork, usually with religious themes.

Blazek, who graduated with a degree in advertising and design before entering seminary, has authored and illustrated five coloring books for his church’s Sunday school. He has distributed three of them at the annual Curry County Fair since 1999, and a fourth will be distributed at the upcoming fair.

“I am called a full-time pastor, but I thank the Lord for allowing me to use my undergraduate degree and talents,” Blazek said. “I really like being able to use these talents for a Christian message.”

Blazek’s books cover topics such as the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the nature of God. Unlike his previous books, his most recent book, “Super Heroes of the Bible,” was written specifically for the fair and will be subsequently used for the church’s Sunday school.

“The program was so successful and everyone was so thrilled with the program that we decided to share this with the community,” said Sylvia Bean, the church’s evangelical chairman.

“We repeated some of them because everybody loves the one about the Ten Commandments,” she said. “He’s done an excellent job of making it brief enough and concise enough so people can understand the message.”

Blazek’s artwork extends to the secular world. While serving as a pastor in Louisiana, he illustrated 11 books from Mary Fontenot’s “Clovis Crawfish” series that had moral lessons but no religious overtones. The name of the crawfish is only coincidental, Blazek said.

Blazek’s art also crossed denominational boundaries when he designed the medallion for First Baptist Church’s 100th anniversary in May.

“We contacted Pastor Blazek and had him give an overview of what the medallion would entail,” said Wayne Lennon, the church’s anniversary committee chair. “He has an understanding in how religion fits into the art world from children to adults. He’s also done artwork on prophetic themes in the Bible, and he understands the scriptural background for all these illustrations.”

Lennon said he knew of Blazek’s art because he designed a medallion to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s birth. Lennon said Blazek spoke to the congregation about the importance of medallions and how the Old Testament tells of markers that commemorate specific workings of God.

“If you’ve ever had art history, art is 90 percent of the time involving religion,” Blazek said. “Only in the 20th century, they got away from each other. Most people express what’s important to them in art. In the last five millennia, that’s generally religion.”