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Faith on his arm (reporting from Sewell, N.J.): A tattoo artist finds salvation.

SEWELL, N.J. — Tattoos cover most of Harry J. Ake’s body — from his wife Linda’s name on his neck all the way down to his ankles.

“I have things on me that are not real holy, and then I have other things that are nicer,” said Ake, owner of Headlight Tattoo and Body Piercing.

His newest tattoo — displayed prominently on his right arm — reflects the transformation in his life since his baptism for the forgiveness of sins more than two years ago.

“Church of Christ,” that tattoo proclaims.

Since his conversion, the 52-year-old Ake has become an active member of the Pitman Road Church of Christ, a 300-member New Jersey congregation, about 20 minutes south of downtown Philadelphia.

From leading a Monday night men’s Bible study to helping prepare Wednesday night fellowship meals, Ake is “every preacher’s dream for what a new Christian should be,” longtime Pitman minister Dan Cooper said. The servant-minded tattoo artist even rolls the church’s garbage cans to the street for weekly curbside pickup.

With sidebar: To tattoo or not to tattoo?  

This story appears in the March 2014 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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