The burnt orange hues of Antelope Canyon in Arizona, mountain reflections in Germany’s Lake Sylvenstein, and the billowing, star-studded clouds of Orion’s Horsehead Nebula—these are among 14 breathtaking photos installed along a lobby wall of La Sierra University’s La Sierra Hall, home of the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School.
Called the Creation Wall, it is the conceptualization of Divinity School Dean Friedbert Ninow, an avid amateur photographer who desired to commemorate the Creator’s work through a display of photographs from among hundreds taken over the past three years—representing just a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands Ninow has taken over a lifetime. The Creation Wall photos depict in vivid color exquisite natural scenes, including celestial realms captured through astrophotography.
On Nov. 7, the Divinity School unveiled the Creation Wall installation. The montage stands opposite a glass-walled meeting room, where a large painting of Jesus and the disciples partaking in the Last Supper is displayed.
A handout for the unveiling that gives information about the photographs describes the wall’s purpose. “We believe that this world we live in, the world around us, and the world beyond our reach has been called into existence by a gracious God.… As you enter the La Sierra Hall lobby, this Creation Wall stands juxtaposed to the wall to your left, which reminds us of God our Redeemer in the Eucharist,” the statement reads.
“This wall was empty. So two years ago or so, I got the idea since I have a hobby called photography to create what I will call the Creation Wall,” Ninow said. “I placed some of my photo work here and tried to honor God’s creation.”
“This is exciting for me because I haven’t seen it before this moment,” said La Sierra University President Joy Fehr, who attended the ceremony. “To realize the ways in which God works in our lives from the very beginning through to the gift of life eternal as is illustrated here is amazing.”
Ninow’s interest in photography was piqued in adolescence. Many years later came astrophotography through the influence of a friend, and Ninow delved into a world that required a telescope, a tracking mount, computer programs, and loads of patience.
The concept for a photographic commemoration of God’s created world was inspired through astrophotography, Ninow said, “noticing the vast spaces and the awe what is out there.”
By Darla Martin Tucker