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Sam Gore Sculpture Unveiled at Mississippi College Inauguration

Mississippi artist Dr. Sam Gore
Mississippi artist Dr. Sam Gore

Sam Gore’s newest sculpture, “Christ in Gethsemane,” will soon be unveiled as one of the cornerstones of Mississippi College’s Rhoda Royce Prayer Garden.

An internationally celebrated artist, Dr. Gore crafted the sculpture as part of the busy inauguration week for Blake Thompson, who serves as MC’s 20th president. The March 29 event at the inspiring prayer garden near Alumni Hall begins at 10 a.m. that Friday. The public is invited.

The latest work represents yet another triumph for Gore, former chairman and founding father of the Mississippi College Art Department.

Still working at age 91, the 1952 Mississippi College graduate has earned kudos for his illustrious art career spanning more than six decades. The new sculpture by the Clinton resident is already drawing praise at his alma mater. It will sit a short walk away from his other bronze sculptures on the Clinton campus glorifying Jesus Christ.

“Images are powerful reminders of the love God has for us,” says Eric Pratt, the university’s vice president for Christian Development.

“Dr. Gore’s sculptures seem to be asking us to pause for a while and remember His love, mercy and grace,” Pratt said. “Christ in Gethsemane brings me to the place where the focus is His will not mine.”

Pratt encourages Mississippi College visitors to “take time to pause, pray and remember all the Lord has done.”

In the Book of Matthew, Gethsemane is the garden where Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before his crucifixion.

Gore’s sculptures speak to Mississippi College’s vision to pursue academic excellence and a commitment to the cause of Christ. It was the vision statement for the Baptist-affiliated institution that President Emeritus Lee Royce first embraced, and remains as strong under President Thompson. MC’s new leader began his duties in July 2018.

“Moses, Deliverer of the Law” is the title of Gore’s bronze sculpture adorning an exterior wall of the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson in 2007. That was followed in 2009 by “Christ, Fulfillment of the Law,” standing just a few feet away. Unveiled in 2003, Dr. Gore’s “The Servant Savior” bronze near Provine Chapel remains a destination point for visitors to the Clinton campus.

Other leaders applaud Dr. Gore for his tireless labors as he produces timeless Christian art works. His latest work is truly magnificent, colleagues say.

“Once again, Dr. Sam Gore sculpted an incredible tribute to our Lord in his latest work “Christ in Gethsemane,” says Randy Miley, chair of the MC Art Department.

His sculptures, Miley said, “are all about compassion. They show a tender side of Christ that immediately touches one’s soul.”

The art professor feels honored Sam Gore is residing here “sharing his vision, skill and testimony with the MC family. His sculptures are a beacon to the world.”

Named in his honor, the Gore Galleries on the Clinton campus showcases the talents of some of America’s finest artists. Samuel Marshall Gore certainly ranks among them.

“Dr. Sam Gore has singularly blessed Mississippi College,” says Ron Howard, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The beloved Mississippian has touched many lives as a student, generous alumnus, professor, administrator and extraordinary artist, Howard said. “His work and the work of his students have made the name Mississippi College known far and wide. He remains very much MC’s artist in residence.”

Filled with Barbara Gauntt’s beautiful photographs reflecting his storied career, her 112-page book “Samuel M. Gore: Blessed with Tired Hands” salutes the Christian artist from Mississippi. It was published by University Press of Mississippi.

In the book’s forward, artist Wyatt Waters of Clinton describes the lasting achievements of his former Mississippi College professor. “When he paints, draws or sculpts, it becomes an act of worship that makes one want to participate in the celebration of creation.”

Dr. Gore, he said, “transforms lives through his art and his teaching.”

For more information on the “Christ in Gethsemane” sculpture unveiling March 29 and other inauguration activities March 24-29, contact Tracey Harrison at 601-925-3239. Or go to for a full schedule of inauguration activities for President Blake Thompson.