St. Mary's Episcopal Church
400 Beaver Creek School
West Jefferson, NC 28694

Directions: From Wilkesboro take NC 16 N, turn left on 163, travel to the second stop light and turn left on Beaver Creek School Rd and go approximately 1/2 mile.
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In the spring of 1972, Father J. Faulton Hodge met the artist, Benjamin F. Long (Ben), at the home of Phillip Moose, a prominent artist in Blowing Rock. Mr. Moose and Father hodge discussed for 15 minutes the plan of Mr. Long building the fresco for free. In spring of 1974 Ben contacted Fr. Hodge, saying that he was ready to do the fresco they had discussed.

Ben had attempted to give a fresco to several larger churches in North Carolina. He was rejected by them all probably in part because he was a young, unknown artist at the time. He was in his mid-twenties when he painted Mary Great With Child. Mr. Long asked Fr. Hodge if he had any favorite Bible verses and was told he that he did not. He then asked of Fr. Hodge had a favorite saint, to which the answer was, again, no. Fr. Hodge then suggested that he paint St. Mary expecting.

In the summer of 1976 Ben returned to paint John the Baptist. The Mystery of Faith was done in the summer of 1977. It is said that Ben never quit working on the fresco even during the middle of church. He did stop to accept communion but then went right back to work. The only trouble he had was with Davids head which he had to redo countless times.