People living in Transcona will enjoy a familiar holy face as they drive down Madeline Street once again.

An internationally renowned and award-winning artist, Charlie Johnston painted Jesus Christ onto Tabor Baptist Church for a second time. He finished up the new mural earlier this week.

Back in 2007, Johnston was commissioned to create a mural of a close-up of Jesus' face, which had been on their outer wall until August this year. 

Tabor Baptist Church in Transcona, Winnipeg.The previous mural done by Charlie Johnston. (Screenshot: Madeline St/Google Maps)

At that time it was Pastor Rod Giesbrecht who shared his vision with the muralist. Johnston painted Christ's face on the front and another mural on the back of a woman looking heavenward.

The first mural had one neighbour upset. They ended up calling the police and the story made national headlines. 

It's also been a staple for people who live in the area for the past 13 years. 

Then in 2019, as Giesbrecht decided to retire, new leadership came in and changed things up. They not only painted over the mural and stuccoed the building again, but also changed the church's name to CityLight Church.

All of those new changes only last for six months, at which time the new leadership left. Geisbrecht, the previous pastor for many years, has since stepped back in as interim pastor. 

Coming back to his congregation at the end of 2019, a conversation was had, which concluded that a new mural should take the place of the old one. Johnston was commissioned once more, bringing Jesus back to the wall. 

"The Bible says, 'Jesus is the light of the world’," Giesbrecht says. "We wanted that idea, but you don’t see anything when you look at light. How do you paint light without looking like a white wall?"

The artist found a way and created a new scene of Jesus in clothes that resemble light, reaching out to onlookers.

Johnston wasn't offended his work was painted over as he says roughly half of his murals remain.

"If you give something enough time, it becomes what it was meant to be," Johnston says as he finished up the larger-than-life painting this week.