The Artwork of Patrick B. Pointer

Patrick B. Pointer, Master Woodcarver and Maritime Artist, Specializing in Great Lakes Maritime History

Appearences and Guest Speaking

This page consists of events I have participated in with my artwork.  Some of these events I was requested to speak at as well as show my work.  It is a delite for me not only to show my work, but to be a blessing wherever I go.  I am not only an artist but also a Pastor of a church in Manistee, Michigan and an Ordained Minister with the Assemblies of God.  I believe that God has invested in me the talents and creative ability not only to create works of art, but to paint pictures with words that penetrate the heart and challenge people to look at their lives and to find greater purpose and direction by giving their hearts to God, Who is the Master Carver and Shaper of our lives.  I have always looked at my personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the center of all that I do and try to accomplish with my life.  The ability to touch people's lives is a gift of God that I will not take for granted and desire to share with every person I come in contact with.  I hope that the art that you see on these pages, along with the content that you view and read will enable you to realize that the passion that drives me to do this type of art, comes from the passion I have to love and serve God.  I am always open to share my faith, to pray for those who need it and to share a word of hope.  Please feel free to contact me, not only for this artwork, for guest appearences or guest speaking, but if you have a personal need that you want someone to come along side of you with... in prayer.  Please enjoy the following articles. 




It was my great honor and privilege to unveil my latest carving FRIENDS GOOD WILL "Chekagou Bound" at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, Michigan on Sunday, March 7, 2010.



     The museum has a lot to offer the state of Michigan and our surrounding Great Lakes area.  Their exhibits are rich with history and very intriguing.  Their grounds are in South Haven's harbor with much to experience, especially the Sloop, "FRIENDS GOOD WILL," which is the central focus of my latest deep relief carving. 

      FRIENDS GOOD WILL was a Sloop that was built between 1810-1811 by a merchant named Oliver Williams, a Michigan Territory trader.  My own family roots go back to the French-Canadian fur traders named the Charbonneau’s.  Mr. Williams ship was built at River Rouge on the banks of the Detroit River very close to where the Edmund Fitzgerald was built some 148 years later.  

     Oliver Williams sailed his ship from Detroit on June 19, 1812 heading to Fort Mackinac, on Mackinaw Island.  Unannounced to Fort Detroit in Detroit, Fort Mackinac on Mackinaw Island and Fort Dearborn in "Chekagou" (which is the spelling of "Chicago" on the maps of that era), the United Sates of America under President Madison, declared War on Great Britain on June 18, 1812 the day before.  

     When Friends Good Will arrived at Fort Mackinac it was dispatched to Fort Dearborn in "Chekagou."  During that time, the British forces were able to get word to their troops in Sault Sainte Marie.  The British were able to take Fort Mackinac by surprise and cause them to surrender without firing a shot.  About a month later, Friends Good Will arrived back at Fort Mackinac unaware that the fort had now fallen into the British Troops hands.  The British kept the American flag flying over the fort to lure in any unexpecting vessels.  Friends Good Will was captured by the British and re outfitted with three cannons.  It was renamed "Little Belt" and used in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. You may remember the famous quote from Commodore Oliver Perry-- "We have met the enemy and they are Ours..."  But he went on to say... "Two Ships, Two Brigs, One Schooner, and One Sloop."  This is that "One Sloop." 

     My depiction of the Sloop FRIENDS GOOD WILL, before it was captured,  departing Fort Mackinac on its way to Chicago... thus the title, "Chekagou Bound."

     I was asked in October of 2009 to be the guest speaker at Michigan Maritime Museum for their December Lecture Series.  At that time, I had already begun the research and drawings for this carving and requested they delay my appearance until March.  Jim Spur, a former captain of Friends Good Will and volunteer for the museum was the only one that knew at that time that I had this carving in the works.

     Sunday's Lecture was a delight for me to be able to share the Edmund Fitzgerald Carvings, a portion of my testimony as a Woodcarver, and my Love for God and for People, as well as my passion for Woodcarving and Maritime History.  When I finally got to the part of unveiling the work, FRIENDS GOOD WILL "Chekagou Bound" there was a great "Gasp" in the room followed by spontaneous applause.  Many questions were asked on how I went about carving these pieces.  I will have a DVD available soon of the entire carving process of Friends Good Will "Chekagou Bound" which you can "Pre-Order" now for a website special price under the "Available Product" tab above. 

     I am currently working with the Museum to purchase this work to become a permanent part of their collection and as a tribute to the story behind this ship and the love of the people who make up the Michigan Maritime Museum, friends, patrons and Crew; those who desire to pass down the heritage that we all share, the history that is rich with adventure, and the preservation of our past as we step into our future!  I say to you all...Bravo!  


If you would like more information about helping the Michigan Maritime Museum purchase this work, you may contact them directly at:

Michigan Maritime Museum
260 Dyckman Road
South Haven, MI 49090

(269) 637-8078 Museum    (800) 747-3810 Toll Free


FRIENDS GOOD WILL "Chekagou Bound"

by   Partick B. Pointer

I look forward to some day soon... taking a sailing adventure on this great ship... How about you?



  Great Lakes Mariners Memorial    Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, White Fish Point, Michigan   November 10, 2008

On November 10, 2008 the 33rd Annual Great Lakes Mariners Memorial and Bell Ringing Ceremony of the Edmund Fitzgerald's Bell was held at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, at White Fish Point, Michigan, where the "Original" bell from the pilot house of the Edmund Fitzgerald is permanently on display.  This ceremony is a memorial to the crews  of the over 6000 known shipswrecks on the Great Lakes.   It was an honor for me not only to show the Edmund Fitzgerald carvings in the museum, but I was also asked to bring the Invocation for this ceremony and participate as a "Bell Ringer."  My greatest thanks to Tom Farnquist, James Spurr and all of the crew and volunteers of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society for the invitation to participate.  It was a beautiful evening and people were moved by the ceremony.  I have been requested by many of the surviving family members of the crews of the S. S. Bradley which was lost in 1958, the S. S. Daniel J. Morrell lost in 1965 and the Edmund Fitzgerald lost in 1975, to post the words I shared during this Invocation.  The following manuscript is what I shared that evening. 


Edmund Fitzgerald Bell Ringing Ceremony

November 10, 2008



This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Launching of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  We have come here this evening to pay tribute and to remember, not only those who sailed on that great ship, but to honor, and remember those who built, sailed, captained, and crewed the thousands of ships large and small that have sailed these Great Lakes as well as those who dedicated their lives to the Life Saving efforts of those in the United States Life Saving Service, the United States Coast Guard and the many civilians that put their lives in harms way to save the life of another.


For there are thousand upon thousands of lives that will be truly represented here tonight and each one of them has a story.  When a ship is lost to these Great Waters, it is not just about one ship and one crew, but it involves many who are left behind and each of them have a story as well.  And some how, we are all connected to these many stories.  We drive the cars that came from the ore that these ships carried, live in homes that were built with the bricks and lumber they shipped, driven on roads that were provided by their cement and gravel, and the list goes on!  Some how we are all connected.


I know that Gordon Lightfoot is very dear to many of you as his song “The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” has brought significant attention to Great Lakes Shipping.  But there is one line in that song that bothered me for years.  It says… “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours.”


Tonight, I have the answer to that perplexing question.  His LOVE never left, it has been there all the time! And it is here tonight to heal, to comfort, to draw you near to Him, and to fill you with His presence if you will allow Him to.


The two carvings that I created to dedicate to this ship were carved to encompass the many who were involved over the last 50 years of the history of this ship.  The first of the two titled; “Fare Thee Well” depicts the Mighty Fitz as she passes The Great Lakes Iron Works where she was built and launched.  On the back of the carving is engraved a verse of Scripture form the Old Testament in the Book of Deuteronomy 28:6 where it says… 6Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 


That Scripture is often quoted when a ship is launched, for everyone knows when you put a ship on the water, whether it is as small as a canoe or a thousand footer there is always the chance it will be lost.


For the past 33 years, this ship has become the “Icon” of the over 6000 ships that have been lost on the Great Lakes alone.  For the past 33 years the mystery of the “HOW” and the “WHY” have grown as many seek closure and understanding.  The builders, designers, the surviving family members, the rescuers and searchers, and countless others who are represented here in all of these ships that have gone down… know the grief of loss and the bewilderment of the “How” and the “WHY”.    Yet God’s Love has been there all the time, and it is here tonight as we come to remember and to honor.


The second of the two carvings is entitled, “FAREWELL.”  Often times when a ship is lost no one witnesses what happened or what actually took place and those who have survived are left with the questions of HOW… WHY… and memories of a loved one now gone.  And the love of God is there… and the Love of God is here. 


There was a small ship on the sea of Galilee in the middle of the night, in the midst of a storm and the lives of those on her were in peril.  They called out to Jesus who was in their ship and He calmed the storm… He saved them.   The Bible tells us that… 13For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”    I cannot help but think in those moments when one finds their life in Greatest Distress, that God would not give them the opportunity to “Call upon the Name of the Lord.”  His Love is there… and His Love is HERE!


On the carving entitled, “FAREWELL” I engraved on the back a verse out of the New Testament in hopes to bring comfort and closure not as much to the many stories of the many lives who have been lost to these Great Lakes… but to those who have been left behind… wondering… “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours…?”  His Love was there… and His Love is HERE.  And for those who were given that great opportunity to Call Upon the Name of the Lord… If they were able to speak to us here tonight… I believe in my heart they would say… something very close to what is engraved on “FAREWELL”


Titus 3:15 15All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.

Grace be with you all. Amen.


His Love was there… and His Love is Here Tonight… And now I call upon the name of the Lord… SAVE US!   Amen… and Amen!


Rev. Patrick B. Pointer, Northern Michigan Artist

After 33rd Annual Great Lakes Mariners Memorial

Posing wit the Original Bell from the

S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald 




 I am the daughter of the FITZ cook when she sank in 1975. I have been involved with memorial services for 11 years. In 2008 I had the opportunity to meet Patrick in Detroit Mi. He was showing his wood carvings of the FITZ. I have never seen such passion of love of work in these carvings. He is dedicated to his service to God. We have prayed together... many times from in person to e-mails. He has uplifted me often when I have sad moments about the ship, crew and especially my dad.
I have always wanted to see his work again in person because the work is so detailed right down to the roping. I had never seen this kind of artwork before. All of those around me to include other friends and family were amazed by his talents.
I hope he always continues with his God given talents as he has so much to offer the world but mostly because he shared this with me. Pam Johnson