Frank Murphy may often be seen carrying pizzas or a guitar as he heads to the Baptist Student Union meetings.
What students do not see is that Murphy, Floyd campus minister, is an accomplished artist. His paintings, which have repeatedly been featured in the college literary magazine, the Old Red Kimono, are evidence of his talent.
Murphy found his artistic gift early on in life.
“I have drawn all my life, and I knew from kindergarten on that I had a gift in art. For me, that was just drawing the things I loved: horses, eagles, baseball, football, basketball players,” he said.
He was devoted to pursuing that gift into adulthood.
Murphy said, “I was determined that when I went to college that I would major in art.”
Unfortunately, college proved to be foreign to the natural artist, and he felt out of place as an art major.
“After a year in the art department, I was not sure that I really wanted to do that. The terminology was strange to me, and I didn’t feel like I was doing what I really loved, nor was I really being encouraged by the art professors, so I changed majors,” he said.
Murphy changed his major to physical education, hoping to go into coaching, but then found himself pulled towards a higher calling.
He said, “I felt God calling me to serve in ministry. It was always to work with students.
I first began as a youth minister in a small country church while I was in college.“
While Murphy had devoted himself to ministry full time, in 1996 he took another leap of faith.
“I was serving as a member of a college student ministry advisory group for colleges in Rome and Floyd County. We were searching for someone to serve at GHC (then Floyd College) part-time. Someone suggested that maybe I should consider doing it and trying my hand as an artist in my other part-time world. After a lot of prayer and fear and faith, I decided to do it,” Murphy said.
Murphy has been serving as the BSU minister since then but still devotes a part of his time to his art work.
Students interested in seeing more of Murphy’s work can pick up an issue of the Old Red Kimono in the student life area on each campus.