Thanks to a helpful hand from investigative reporter Laray Polk, I have located the owners of the painting. I have been wrong in referring to it as “The Dallas Rapture,” btw. ItÂ is simply “The Rapture” — the old Southland building logo was wiped off so that the painting could represent Anycity, USA.
The painting was commissioned in 1973 by Leon and Ruth Bates, who now run a ministry called the Bible Believers Evangelistic Association (if you’re a Bible-believing evangelical, check it out here). In fact, if you scroll back down to the painting I point your attention to a yellow van: those are Leon and Ruth themselves zappinig up to heaven. (At first, Leon tells me, artist Charles Anderson only painted in Leon, but Leon insisted that he and Ruth are always together — which I thought was sweet.)Â Charles the painter is now retired east of McKinney.
You can order your own copy of this classic here. I did, and Leon called me back to tell me he got the order, which was nice.