New Portrait of Paul Carlson on Cover of the Companion

By Stan Friedman

CHICAGO, IL (October 30, 2014) — David Westerfield says he hopes his portrait of Dr. Paul Carlson that he created for the cover of The Covenant Companion’s November issue captures the joyful spirit of the missionary who was martyred 50 years ago in Congo.

The portrait was inspired by a photo taken of Carlson as he traveled by boat to a mission station. “After looking at many pictures of Paul, I chose this one to work from because it seemed to me to capture his personality without being a formal portrait or a posed picture,” says Westerfield, who is the art director for Covenant Communications. “I think there is sincerity in his face that I hope comes through in my painting.”

Westerfield adds, “I tried to render him in a contemporary way without being sentimental. Still, I hope the eye contact and gentle smile draw people in.”

The medical missionary was killed when he refused to leave his patients and evacuate the country despite a violent uprising. Rebels took him hostage and later shot him and others during a rescue attempt.

The November issue highlights the work of Paul Carlson in Congo as well as new initiatives of the Paul Carlson Partnership that continue to carry his dream forward. Lois Carlson Bridges, the physician’s widow, says in an article about the initiatives, “I am thrilled by what they are doing. They are doing more than Paul ever dreamed.”

Also included in the issue are a brief profile of Carlson and a timeline of the Covenant’s involvement in the African nation.

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  • I look forward to reading this issue. I was too young to be aware of Paul Carlson while he was still living. His story has been a part of the Covenant history that I grew up with and he has been a hero of the faith for me. I don’t expect to be martyred or be known outside of the circle of my family and friends. I do hope to be faithful to God and help those who come into my sphere of influence.

  • David, Stan and team editors of the Covenant Companion, Congratulations for the good work, articles and photo for the cover of the November issue for the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Paul Carlson martyrdom.
    Eugenio Restrepo

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