The Power of Art and Faith: Creation Mural at St. Croix SDA School

In an evangelistic collaboration, the General Conference and North Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists commissioned a creation-themed mural at St. Croix SDA School. Led by talented alumnus Mikael Royer, the mural transforms the cafeteria into a visual celebration of God's work, encouraging exploration and admiration of the natural world.

News May 17, 2024
The sweeping panorama of the seven days of creation welcomes students and visitors to the amazing world of God’s natural sciences. Located in the cafeteria of the St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School, the painting was a collaborative effort by the GC Treasury team and local representatives, led by Mikael Royer. Image by Curtis Henry

May 17, 2024 || Port of Spain, Trinidad || CARU Staff

As each brushstroke animated God’s creatorship, affirmed in Psalm 19: 1 and Revelation 14: 7, smooth and gradual movements transformed the school’s cafeteria walls into an epic mural in April 2024. The visually depicted theme was an invitation for viewers to witness creation, explore each day, and feel the magnificence – the glory of God’s work.

An evangelistic collaboration between the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) and the North Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (NCC) included plans to place this mural on the grounds of the St. Croix Seventh-day Adventist School. When the GC Treasury team sought someone to lead the painting phase, they found talent in an alumnus, Mikael Royer.

Royer was happy to assist the GC volunteers since he always wanted to give back something of value to his alma mater. “I graduated from the school in 2021; I always looked for opportunities to give back to my school and this mission initiative gave me the opportunity to do that,” he said. He took two days off from his professional pursuits to support the cause.

Artist Mikael Royer concentrates on detailing the mural in the Adventist School cafeteria. A third-generation Adventist, his life has been shaped by a loving family and the Christiansted Seventh-day Adventist Church. Image by Curtis Henry.

He is a third generation Adventist and his life has been shaped by a loving family and the Christiansted Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, the oldest SDA Church on St. Croix. In addition to sharing his musical talent with the congregation, he was involved in the Adventurer and Pathfinder ministries. He discovered his talent for painting murals during his years with the Pathfinder ministry. Royer fondly recalled engaging in family worship, listening to Bible stories which developed the imagination associated with his paintings, and concluded that his artwork is heavily linked to his past.

In the school’s cafeteria, the sweeping panorama of the seven days of creation welcomes students and visitors to the amazing world of God’s natural sciences. Day one reveals the light of God shining from above – over deep space and all the solar system planets; it depicts God’s mightiness and greatness displayed during the days of creation. One ray of the light gently touches the earth – this is the hand of God, whose loving care created a home for the first human beings. The viewers eyes are then led to the world of plants, animals, and the first human couple. At another end of the mural is the light of God; this time, it is the light of His Presence and the holy rest that He established for all people as the seventh day of creation – His Sabbath

GC volunteers were heavily involved in completing the painting on the walls of the school cafeteria. Richard Stephenson, Chief Information Officer and Associate Treasurer for the Adventist Church, is actively ensuring the details are properly defined. Image by Curtis Henry.

Royer is a student at the University of the Virgin Islands, works at a local Home Depot store, and still finds time to pursue his hobby. He completed several nature murals in areas around the school. Private commissions also tapped his skill and giftedness. “I’ve had the opportunity to share my paintings in public spaces, but it required me to work on Sabbath and that did not sit well with me,” he stated.

Royer said he likes to include art and design because they help people to become engaged and support their exploration of God’s wonderful world. “It is very beneficial for my learning process. In my classroom, students have an opportunity not just to study sciences, but to gain their own experiences. I am someone who doesn’t like blank walls. I like to style and paint them – to create an atmosphere of pleasant learning of natural studies.”

Student Amareese McSween shows character and determination as she focuses on completing the details of the mural. She was part of the student team that participated in the project. Image by Curtis Henry.

Family members were delighted about Royer’s participation in the project and one aunt who is an educator, Nancy Graham, stated, “Mikey’s exceptional design for our school cafeteria has truly transformed the space. With the invaluable assistance of both students and the GC Treasury Departments, this mural in the St. Croix SDA School cafeteria has brought life to the area.”

The mural was completed by a team of enthusiastic and talented people including GC volunteers and students at the school (including his cousins). Royer said, “I’ve had to put in additional time to complete it, but I am happy. This mural was a joint work of all my family. The design was given to me by the principal, and I had to find some way to get it done with the limited time. We all were so excited about this project. We hoped it would bring joy to everyone who enters the area. It was fun to make it, but we couldn’t have accomplished this work without prayers and God’s abundant blessings. We want to dedicate this mural to all the students at the school. We want to put our praise voices together and lift them up to our Lord Jesus.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Caribbean Union Conference news site.