Charles Alkula

I am a native of Geneva, Ohio [on the southeast shore of Lake Erie] the fourth of five children. My family moved to Largo, Florida in 1966 and I completed high school there in 1977. I began college at Birmingham-Southern College [in Alabama] before transferring to Texas Christian University (TCU), in Fort Worth, Texas, where I received my bachelor’s degree in 1982. Following my time at TCU, I served in the U.S. Army as an officer, earning a commission through the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.

Following my years in the Army, I first taught at Brookland Plantation Home for Boys in Orangeburg, South Carolina before attending Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where I received a master’s degree in Education in 1988. I taught for two years in South Carolina and then moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where I worked in a bank for three years.

In 1992, I answered the call to ministry, and in 1997, received a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in D.C. In 1996, I was ordained as a minister in the Nebraska Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, enjoying two parish assignments in the northeastern part of the state. In 1999, I was endorsed by the United Methodist Church to serve in the U.S. Navy as a chaplain.

While serving in the Navy I earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at the Theological School of Drew University. Since leaving the Navy in 2007, I have served United Methodist churches in Nebraska, Texas, Montana, and Colorado.

I love to learn and since leaving the Navy have completed a year-long residency in the CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and The Two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation (through the Upper Room). During my time in Montana, I used funds provided by the VA through its Post-9/11 GI Bill to earn my fifth degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Montana in 2018.

As a hobby, I collect slogan badges (aka, “buttons”). I’ve pursued this hobby since high school and have more than 8,600 buttons in the collection. I enjoy all kinds of music, but especially love big band, Drum & Bugle Corps and Gregorian Chants. I am married to Belinda, the love of my life, and share our home with Wesley, a grey cat who adopted us when we lived in west Texas.

Visit to see more of my work.


The Art of Charles Alkula

My approach to the making of art takes as its point of origin the awareness that I am about to do something which is unexpected and undiscovered until it reveals
itself to me. This is my way of being reminded that my creative voice is unique and no one else can speak for me.

My perspective as an artist is grounded in my ethnic heritage (Finnish), my religious vocation, and a whimsical view of the world. Sisu, the Finnish expression which loosely translates as “tenacity with purpose,” helps me to keep approaching art with a determined gaze. My religious vocation has opened my awareness of and participation in the wider world. Given the serious side of my background and occupation it is important for me to apply a feeling of joy to my work. Sisu, religion, and whimsy – this is who I am and why I am able to make art as I do.

Four Shades of Grey/Gray “Four Shades of Grey/Gray”

16x20, Acrylic and oil on canvas

Tableau IV “Tableau IV”

30x40, Acrylic on canvas

Väinön virsi (Väinämöinen's Song) “Väinön virsi (Väinämöinen's Song)”

48x60, Acrylic on canvas

The Sun Upon the Lake is Low “The Sun Upon the Lake is Low”

36x80, Oil, wax on wood

On Green Mountain (in the shadow of the Flatirons) “On Green Mountain (in the shadow of the Flatirons)”

36x48, Acrylic on canvas