We introduce Preacher’s Kids (PK) Comics to replace Joyful ‘Toons from October 2016 every Thursday. Enjoy.
By:LAURA LONG MARTIN, Staff Writer March 18, 2001
Today, he draws his own comic strip called “P.K.” The cartoons are modeled after his own children, Aaron, 11, and John-David, 5, and the “PK” is a slang term that church people sometimes use for “preacher’s kids.” He draws the cartoons freehand, but is learning how to use the computer to add color and enhance the overall look of the cartoons. Ayers, pastor of Roaring Fork Baptist Church in Gatlinburg, has loved the whole cartooning business all his life, but Charles Schultz was always his hero, he says. “I once sent drawings to Charles Schultz,” Ayers says. “He actually sent me back two Snoopy cartoons with his real signature on them. That was back in the 1970s, and unfortunately, I have no idea where those drawings are now.” Ayers was born and raised in Gatlinburg, and his grandfather, Shirl Compton, was a charter member of Roaring Fork Baptist Church. “I got saved when I was 7 years old,” Ayers says. “It was in Banner Baptist Church off Beech Branch Road. My parents bought a house near there so we went to church there, and a few years later we moved back to Gatlinburg and began attending Roaring Fork Baptist Church again.”
In 1991, Ayers was asked to be a deacon in his church and he says he “surrendered to the call to preach in 1992.”
Ayers’ brother, Mitch, was already a pastor for Cartertown Baptist Church, about 2 miles from Roaring Fork Baptist Church. In 1993, Ayers took his first official position as associate pastor at Cartertown Baptist, and for three years he worked with his brother in the ministry. “I really cherish those three years we had together, when we were able to minister together,” Ayers said. “Then, in 1996, the pastor resigned at Roaring Fork Baptist Church and they asked me to fill in. I served as interim pastor for two months and in May of 1996, they asked me to come on as pastor.”
Ayers says that pastoring the church he grew up in has a unique flavor to it. “Ladies that used to change my diapers in the nursery at church now have me as their pastor,” Ayers said. “I’d say that is pretty unique, but I really enjoy it and we have such wonderful people.” Throughout his spiritual journey, Ayers said that he has continued to draw, and just a few years ago, someone in the church suggested that he start putting his cartoons in the church newsletter. “My prayer has always been, ‘Lord, let me use this (love for drawing) for your glory,'” Ayers said.
The characters were easy, since they were modeled after his own children, and Ayers says that ideas for the cartoons usually come out of things that the kids say or do.
“The cartoon is about how they look at life, especially how they look at church life,” Ayers said, adding that having a daddy who is a preacher creates a special kind of life for children.
“One of my strongest gifts is to encourage, I think,” he says. “I want these cartoons to be an encouragement to people, to make them smile. I guess I sort of break out of the stereotype of what people think a pastor is supposed to be like, but I really enjoy life. “I am not a great artist nor do I claim to be, but if these kids can make someone think of Jesus, my talent has found purpose,” Ayers said.
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