The Windows of First-Centenary
Eighteen magnificent stained glass windows were prepared for this church by the Willet Stained Glass Studios of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who have produced some of the most outstanding stained glass work to be found in the world. All the windows are executed in faceted glass. Brilliantly-colored glass, usually an inch or more in thickness, is cut Into the desired size and shapes. The inner surface of certain pieces is then faceted to enhance the design and add a jewel-like quality.
The matrix of epoxy rosin is poured around the carefully arranged pieces of glass to hold them in place. This forms a structural unit of great strength. The thickness of the glass assures the breath-taking radiance and purity of color found in these windows.
The Chancel Window
"The Story of Redemption"
The "gold" window technique was developed by the Willet Studios. A background of jeweled untextured, leaded glass is covered with a sculptured lead surface which is "flown" with 23 Karat gold leaf. By day the story is told in stained glass, cataracts of color in cliffs of masonry and by night is told by the gold repousse.
The Left Lancet
Beginning at the lower left is seen the story of Adam and Eve driven from the Garden of Eden. Next above, Abraham is ready to offer Isaac, a type a vicarious sacrifice; Moses is lifting up the brazen serpent in the wilderness; then the great prophet, Isaiah, views Jesus as the Suffering Servant.
The Two Center Lancets
These are scenes from the life of Jesus. At the bottom, the Incarnation with the Holy Family at Bethlehem. Above, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus as the dove of the Holy Spirit hovers above. The Sermon on the Mount is next. Above this is Jesus with the eleven Apostles at the Last Supper. Judas is seen leaving to betray him. At the top left, Jesus dies on the cross. On the right, Christ rises from the empty tomb. Three empty crosses of Calvary are seen in the distance. Scenes from Jesus' life are linked and framed by a decorative vine and branches, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." The fruits of these branches are the symbols of the twelve Apostles.
The Right Lancet
These scenes are from the book of Acts. At the bottom, Peter is laying his hands in blessing on Matthias who is taking the place of Judas. Above is pictured Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit. Tongues of fire appear over each head. Next, the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who dies forgiving his murderers. Next above is Saul of Tarsus with his vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road, as he hears the voice, "Why persecutest thou Me?".
At the time of completion, this window was the largest "gold window" In the world and represents one of the crowning achievements of the Willet Studio artists and craftsmen.
The Chancel Window depicting the Story of Redemption is dedicated in grateful appreciation to those members of Centenary Methodist Church, founded 1839 and the First Methodist Church, founded 1865, who served faithfully through the years, thus inspiring the formation of this great First-Centenary United Methodist Church. This window is given by the Gordon P. Street Family.
The Lancet Windows
On the left as you stand at the chancel and look toward the narthex, the miracle of Christ's healing of the Centurion servant is seen. Christ's hand is raised in benediction between the soldier's helmet and the Roman eagle, and through the door of the tent is seen a bed.
The next window on the left, the Disciples were frightened while in a boat by a sudden storm, but Jesus was awakened and stilled the tempest. His calming hand is seen extended over the tossing ship.
Next, when the Disciples needed money to pay the temple tax, Jesus told Peter to catch a fish and the coin was found in the mouth of the fish. The crossed keys are used as Peter's symbol.
On the right side of the nave, Christ is shown restoring sight to the blind man. The hand is shown moistening the earth in clay; the eye which was restored to sight is shown above.
The next window on the right shows the five loaves and the two fishes of the lunch given by a boy to Jesus who multiplied them so that they could feed 5,000 people.
Next, Jesus raised his friend, Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, from the grave. Here His raised hand commands Lazarus to come forth in his grave clothes.
Behind you on the left, the first miracle — changing water into wine at Cana. The wedding is symbolized by two lamps with entwined flames surmounted by a cross.
Next, the disciples fished all night with no success. Jesus told them to drop the nets on the opposite side. They hauled in miraculous draught of fishes.