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Man paints murals for Midland church that opened its doors during February’s winter storm

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 9:55 AM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Homelessness, loss, nothing could force him to stop. The local artist found a new home and a new canvas at Midland’s True-Lite Christian Fellowship after he lost everything.

Maurice Tillis spends almost every day inside midland’s true lite church bringing the walls to life with his colorful art.

Only months ago, Maurice’s life was grey.

He had been homeless for the better part of a year until he took refuge at the church during the winter storm.

That’s when staff members noticed his talent.

“During that time, we got to see him doodle,” True-Lite Assistant Pastor Ray Calhoun said. “And he would show portraits, real portraits that he had rolled up.”

I asked him to show me some of his work and was blown away by his detailed paintings.

Maurice has a gift, and he’s not too shy to tell you about it.

“I can make a ship this big and put people on it,” Maurice said with a laugh.

So, he’s putting that talent to work by creating a series of murals throughout the church as a way of showing gratitude.

Maurice said never in his life has he felt welcomed and valued the way he is here.

“I feel good coming here every day. I like to just to see people see what I can do.”

Calhoun said the feeling is mutual.

The staff affectionately calls him “Mr. Maurice” and Calhoun said he considers him one of the brothers.

He said Maurice is a kindhearted, selfless man.

“He gives what he has,” Calhoun said. “He gives everything he has.”

What he does have is an infectious laugh and a sunny attitude that lets him appreciate life and all its colors.

“I went through a lot of things, but I look at it like there’s people in my life who went through things that I never couldn’t imagine,” he said. “So, I feel good.”

The pastor says they’ve been helping Maurice pay find a place to stay and get him bus passes so he can get around.

Maurice said however that works out, he’ll still want to keep painting at True Lite.

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