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The Messages of the Windows

Lessons from the Stained Glass Windows of Mt. Olivet UMC

The stained glass windows of Mt. Olivet speak to us on so many levels that we have called their lessons “The Messages of the Windows.” Like many other things of beauty we see every day, we need to be aware of the broader dimensions they bring to our worship.

As early as the 9th and 10th centuries, Christian worshipers in Western Europe (particularly in France and Germany), began to add pieces of colored glass, sometimes painted, sometimes colored by the addition of some metallic oxide, to the windows of their churches. Although most accounts state that stained glass had its beginnings in the 11th century, the history of the church at St. Remi at Reims, which was written in 995 A.D., mentions that the windows of the church depicted various stories. By the 12th century, glass painting came into its own and became a major form of church decoration, replacing the popular wall paintings. The most important development was the birth of the “narrative window,” a series of paintings telling a story.

By the 13th century, the lofty Gothic cathedrals with their higher and thinner walls allowed architects to use larger windows, and more of them. The process of coloring and cutting the glass, then setting the pieces into a design, was expensive, but was justified not only because it added great beauty to the place of worship, but because of the lessons the windows taught the largely illiterate congregations. The windows, which began with simple designs such as the “Head of Christ” in an 11th century window, progressed to complex designs such as the Lives of the Saints, depicted in the Canterbury Cathedral windows, and the windows at Sainte-Chappelle which portray scenes from Genesis to Revelation.

Thus the stained glass windows at Mt. Olivet, although installed in the mid-Twentieth Century, claim a long spiritual and artistic heritage. By 1958, as the result of earlier renovations, the Mt. Olivet sanctuary already included a large stained glass window in the rear wall of the sanctuary depicting Christ knocking at the door. The Ada Dayvault Circle sold plates depicting Mt. Olivet Church to raise money for the beautiful window portraying Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane that was installed behind the pulpit in the choir loft.

In 1958, the Women’s Society of Christian Service (“W.S.C.S.”; the forerunner of the United Methodist Women) began to discuss the installation of additional stained glass windows in the newly-renovated Mt. Olivet Sanctuary. The 13 January 1958 Minutes of the Official Board indicate that the “Mertie Winecoff Circle suggested her donation be used to put stained glass windows in the church. They have enough to buy one window and another one has been promised if the Board approves.” The Official Board apparently felt it needed additional information, however, and left the matter for consideration at its February 1958 meeting. Following the discussion at the February 1958 meeting of the Board, the matter was left open to “check on the cost per window.” The project did not begin in earnest until 1962.

On 9 July 1962, the Board voted to give the W.S.C.S. “the project of replacing windows in the sanctuary and whether to have plaques for those donating.” The Society led the church- wide effort in 1962 and 1963. In his report to the last Quarterly Conference in 1963, Rev. Joseph M. Taylor, Jr., stated that “[he] greatly appreciate[d] the . . . leadership of the ladies of the church in securing stain glass windows for the sanctuary.”

Most of the windows were donated by friends or family members in honor or memory of loved ones, as shown by the plaques installed beneath each of them. In the right narthex (nearest Mt. Olivet Road), the stained glass window featuring the Greek symbols, Alpha and Omega, was presented in 1963 by the Lura Wellborn Circle. Other stained glass in that narthex was presented by the Betty Hough-Ethel Kiker Circle, also in 1963.

The attached diagram indicates the location of the 22 stained glass windows located in the Mt. Olivet UMC sanctuary. The clockwise numbering begins with a large window behind the choir (No. 1), depicting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (“Watch and Pray”). The large window in the back of the sanctuary representing Jesus knocking at the door is No. 12. . Two other scenes are included in the margin of the scene of Jesus at the door. One (No. 12A) depicts the Lamb lying on the Book, with seven seals hanging from its pages. The other (No. 12B) features the Holy Bible and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the “beginning and the end.”

Each of the 20 smaller windows has a shield-shaped medallion in the upper portion of the window, which features a scene or symbol important in the life of Jesus and the Church. The lower portion of each window features a traditional cross, flanked by two diamond-shaped pieces of glass.

The symbols and scenes on these lovely windows form the basis for a series of meditations on the life of Our Savior and the Church he founded. As originally presented to Adult Sunday School Class No. 7 between January and June 2007, the meditations did not follow the clockwise order of the windows as they appear in the sanctuary and on the attached diagram, but the 22 windows were arranged into three groupings centered around (a) the life of Jesus; (b) the history of the Church; and (c) the Christian Church in the world.

The Life of Jesus

  • (3) Star Over Bethlehem
  • (10) Ten Commandments
  • (5) Hosanna and Palm Frond
  • (1) Jesus in the Garden: Watch and Pray
  • (21) Three Crosses on a Hill

The History of the Church

  • (15) Three Easter Lilies: The Risen Savior
  • (6) Fruits of the Land: Remember Me
  • (9) Three Fish: The Early Church
  • (13) IHS Intertwined: The Triumph of Christianity
  • (19) A Mighty Fortress is our God: The Reformation

The Church in the World

  • (14) Cross Lighting World
  • (8) Hand and Torch
  • (2) Holy Bible and Cross
  • (22) Holy Bible and Lamp
  • (18) Cross and Crown
  • (4) Anchor and Crown
  • (16) Cross and Palm Frond
  • (7) Cross on Rock
  • (17) Dove with Twig
  • (21) Dove Ascending
  • (12) Jesus Knocks at the Door
  • (11) Alpha and Omega Intertwined

We have chosen below, however, to discuss each window, its symbolism and message, in the order shown on the diagram, beginning with “Watch and Pray” behind the choir and proceeding in a clockwise manner.
After the new windows were installed in 1963, Rev. Joseph Taylor, the church secretary, and perhaps others, prepared and distributed an 8-page mimeographed handout, explaining the symbolism of the new windows. We begin a study of the windows with what our anonymous author says in the manuscript:

Aside from the symbolic references in specific stained glass windows in numerous churches, windows in general may be said to symbolize the Christian life. As windows are open to let the warmth and light of the sun come in, so the Christian at his best is open to good thoughts and good words, and closed to the things that harm as a window is closed to wind and rain. As windows can be beautiful when they let the sunlight pour through them, so human life can be radiant and rich with Christian grace when the light of Jesus Christ shines through.

When the windows are viewed on an overcast day and the lights in the sanctuary are not on, it is remarkable that there is little visible detail and little of beauty about them. It is the light passing through them that gives them their beauty, meaning, and purpose. Thus, they reemphasize the importance of light in Christian theology, something the student of the windows might want to explore.

You will also notice that beneath each small window is a plate indicating the persons donating the funds for each window and the names of loved ones in whose honor or memory the window was given. Thus, as we look at the windows we are reminded of those who have gone before us, of the contributions to the church by that “cloud of witnesses,” and our debt to them. We are a connectional people, and the windows serve as a connection between us and the generations of believers who have worshiped on this ancient hill overlooking Three Mile Branch.

Clarence and Marlene Johnson Horton

I. Diagram indicating location of the windows:


II. The symbols, scripture, and summary of the message
(1) “Watch and Pray.” (Jesus at Gethsemane)

Watch and Pray window
Matthew 26: 41 (KJV) : “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
This beautiful window is a narrative window, telling the story of the evening following Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, when he prayed and agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane (or, wine press), and submitted to the will of his Father. The disciples are in the background, unable to remain awake and watch with the Master. The praying Savior is illuminated by a light from Heaven. His red robe may be symbolic of the blood he was to shed for our redemption. The attached sketch shows the location of the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane, with its ancient olive trees, just across the Kidron Valley and Brook. Jesus had gone there with his disciples to pray after he had shared a last meal with them, had taught them a final lesson, and prayed for them. They sang a hymn together and then left Jerusalem, crossing the Kidron (or, Cedron) Brook and Valley and went into the Garden of olive trees, given its name by an oil press located nearby in which the olive crop could be pressed into oil used for both food and light. The olive tree itself is a powerful symbol of peace; we still speak of extending the olive branch to an enemy. When the dove returned to Noah’s ark following the flood, it had an olive leaf in its mouth. The events of betrayal had already been set in motion by the visit of Judas, for reasons we may never completely understand, to the High Priest. In an ultimate rejection, Judas betrayed his Savior with a kiss, and then stood with those who came to arrest him. The disciples, who had been unable to “watch and pray” with their Master, “forsook him, and fled.” The next morning, a fickle crowd, some of whom had welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna” on the day we call Palm Sunday, joined with others to shout that Barabbas should be released and Jesus - their Messiah - should be delivered to a cruel death by crucifixion.

(2) “The Bible and the Cross”

The Bible and the Cross window

window-02a.jpg II Timothy 3:16 - “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness . . ..” (KJV)

Margie Barringer Goodman
Fred G. Goodman
By Jean, Bill
Jimmy and Delilah

The cross represents the central tenet of Christian belief. It symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice and His obedience to the will of his Father. The empty cross also represents his resurrection. We are reminded by the cross that we are all sinners and in need of Christ’s redemption. The Bible is God’s inspired word given for our instruction and guidance. The closed Bible is often said to contain the names of the Elect, and is a symbol of the Last Judgment and the inheritance of the saints. Taken together, the cross and the Holy Bible portray Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the power of evil.

(3) “Star Over Bethlehem”

Star Over Bethlehem window

Matthew 2:1-2: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (KJV)

In Memory Of
Caleb J. Goodman
Presented by
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh J. Goodman, Sr.

Epiphany Sunday is the traditional end of the Christmas Season. Epiphany was one of the three oldest festivals of the Christian Church, along with Easter and Pentecost. Epiphany, from a Greek word meaning “manifestation,” marks the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, that is to the “wise men” who visited his home at Bethlehem. In those days, astrologers studied the stars, believing that they controlled our destinies. For sailors in those days, and those traveling in trade caravans, the stars guided them way across the trackless deserts and oceans.

For us as Christian people, however, the lesson is that the creator God created the sun and moon and stars, and guides them in their courses. Thus, as a part of God’s plan, the star guided and led the wise men, or magi, from their Persian homes to the Judean hill country by the pale light of a star, in search of a king. They had read in the ancient books of the Hebrews that “a star would come out of Jacob, and a scepter rise out of Israel.” Num. 24:17. The great prophet Isaiah had written: “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa. 60:3. The psalms spoke of Kings bringing gifts. For those who doubt that Christ came to save all the world, let us not forget that God directed the paths of these Gentiles across deserts and down dangerous roads to worship the child King and to bring him gifts - rich gifts that may have allowed the little family to survive in Egypt during their exile.

We will see the star again in other windows, for it reminds us of the Savior’s Kingship. I doubt that we will see a five-pointed star again in the same way - for it now reminds us of the Creator God, of His divine plan and His love for all people, so that He sent his only begotten son to be born in humble surroundings among unimportant people, but brought the descendants of Kings to search Him out and to kneel in worship before Him. So is God found in stars and in the ordinary things of this beautiful world He crafted, if only we open our hearts and eyes to the wonder of it.

(4) “An Anchor of the Soul”

An Anchor of the Soul window

Acts 27: 29-30, 40. “Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship . . . And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mary Patterson Goodman
In Honor Of
Hugh J. Goodman, Sr.
By The Children

An anchor is used to hold a ship in place even though a storm might be raging and threatening to dash it upon the rocks. It is often figurative of the Christian’s hope, as in Hebrews 6:19, when we read that the “Christian hope is infallible, because it is fixed on Christ.” The anchor also symbolizes the end of our voyage and indicates that we have weathered the storm and reached a safe harbor in Christ.

(5) “The Triumphant Entry”

The Triumphant Entry window

John 12: 12-13: On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mr. and Mrs J. A. Fink
By Mrs. C.J. Goodman

To the Jews, the palm tree symbolized food and shelter; during the annual Festival of Booths, its fronds were used to build rude shelters and reminded the people of the Exodus from Egypt and the sojourn in the wilderness. To the Romans, palm fronds symbolized triumph in sporting events and war. For the Christian, they are equated with victory and joy at Jesus’ triumph over sin and death, as well as the coming martyrdom of Jesus. The palm fronds symbolize other great spiritual themes. We see the transitory nature of the world’s acclaim, as the crowds that welcomed Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna” (Save Us) on the day we call Palm Sunday, had fallen away from him by the end of the week. Although Jesus’ disciples strongly counseled him not to go to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, Jesus submitted to the will of his Father, and “steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51). His decision foreshadowed his submission to the will of the Father as he agonized and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Finally, we are reminded to the boundless love of the Father for his wayward and sinful earthly children, as he gave his only begotten son that we might be saved.

(6) “Fruits of the Land”

Fruits of the Land window

Luke 22:18-19: “For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Winecoff
Presented By
Mr. and Mrs. John Wilkinson

The symbols of the chalice (cup), grapes, and sheaf of wheat speak to us on several levels. They are typically symbols of the Last Supper, as the cup was used for wine made from the grapes, and bread was made from wheat. The broken bread is emblematic of the broken body of Jesus and the wine of his blood shed for us. We are also reminded that Jesus is the “bread of life.” In addition to a reminder of Jesus’s sacrifice, participation in Communion makes us feel a part of Christians around the world who are also taking part in the service of remembrance. Finally, we may sense our continuing ties to those generations of Christians who have gone before us, but who also took part in the breaking of the bread and drinking of the cup.

On yet another level, we are reminded of the Old Testament story in Numbers chapters 13 and 14, of Moses sending the spies out to survey the land God had promised them. Although they returned with samples of the rich fruits of the land, including great clumps of grapes, the people did not have the faith to enter in and claim their inheritance. As a result, they wandered in the desert for 40 years until that generation died and a new generation rose up that trusted God to give them the land for their habitation.

(7) “Cross on Rock”

Cross on Rock window

Matthew 7: 24-25. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mr. J.W. Penninger
Presented By
Mrs. J.W. Penninger

A rock, or stone, symbolizes stability and endurance. Thus, a house built on a rock is built on a firm foundation and can withstand the storm. The Commandments were given to Moses on tablets of stone, so that they might endure. Likewise, a depiction of a church on a rock is often seen as a symbol of the enduring principles of Jesus’s teachings. Here, a church on a rock may be a symbol of the enduring nature of Jesus’s sacrificial love for us and his obedience to the will of the Father. Our belief that we are redeemed through His sacrifice and the belief that we have eternal life through His resurrection are the bedrock beliefs of our Christian faith. We do not place our hope in the changing things of this world, but in the Christ who never changes.

(8) “The Lord Is My Light”

The Lord is my Light window

Psalm 27:1. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

In Memory Of
Mrs. Mertie Winecoff
Presented By
Mertie Winecoff Circle

The torch symbolizes a light source, and the banner makes it clear that the Lord is our light! John’s gospel tells us that when the soldiers and Judas came into the garden, they carried “lanterns and torches and weapons.” Thus, the torch can be associated with betrayal. Jesus’s trial was carried out at night for fear of the people. The proceedings were lighted by torches, which thus speak of secrecy. In this window, however, the torch and banner echo the words from Psalms 119:105: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. After Jesus’s coming, we who had walked in darkness saw a great light. In that light and in his coming are our hope: hope that our sins are forgiven, hope for life eternal, hope that we can live together in peace on this small planet.

(9) “Three Fishes”

Three Fishes window

John 21: 12-13. “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? Knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Peggy Measmer Hall
Presented By
Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Measmer

The symbol of the fish was a recognition symbol for members of the early Christian church, during days of persecution. It is often said that the first letters of the Greek words “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior,” form the Greek word “ICHTHUS,” or “fish.” For the early Christians, the story of Jonah had a special attraction and later was often depicted in murals or stained glass windows. Jesus chose fishermen for disciples and promised to make them “fishers of men.” He also met the needs of the crowds in the wilderness by feeding them with loaves of bread and fishes. Where there are three fish, as in this window, they symbolize the Christian’s belief in the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

(10) “The Ten Commandments”

The Ten Commandments window

Exodus 31: 18: “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Scott
Presented by the Children

The Ten Commandments, the symbol for the laws of God written for mankind, were given Moses on Mount Sinai. They are often depicted in religious art. It was the Jewish custom to arrange five commandments on each tablet. During the time of St. Augustine, they were arranged three and seven, as they appear on our window. The Reformed Church usually preferred four and six respectively. The torch, also included in the window, is usually a symbol of truth and righteousness. It sometimes typifies the spirit of the Christian, as we are called to be the light of the world. A torch also may symbolize the spirit of the early missionaries. The commandments remind us that Jesus was trained as a rabbi, and thus was quite familiar with the requirements of the Jewish law. They also speak to us of the fickleness of human nature, as Moses descended from Sinai to find that the people had grown tired of waiting for his return and begun worshiping a golden calf. As a result, Moses broke the tablets of the law, the idolatrous people were severely punished and the tribe of Levi became the priestly tribe thereafter. After Moses’ temper waned, he interceded for the people, and the Lord again provided the commandments and renewed his covenant with the nation of Israel. The Lord again warned the Israelites about falling into the trap of worshiping false idols. Unfortunately, they continued to disobey that central commandment during the history of their nation, and we continue to be ensnared by the things of this world today. On a secular level, we are reminded that we are a nation of laws, and that they remain necessary as we struggle to live together in peace as a diverse people.

(11) “Alpha and Omega”

Alpha and Omega window

Revelation 1:8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Presented In 1963 By
The Lura Wellborn Circle

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and are often used to symbolize the beginning and the end. As used in our scripture from Revelation, the letters remind us that God was, is, and is to be. Thus, we have the images of God as the Creator, as Emmanuel (God with us!), and as the God of the new heaven and new earth. As Isaiah wrote, “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He.” (Isaiah 41:4).

(12) “Jesus Knocks at the Door”

Jesus Knocks at the Door window

Revelation 3:20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
For the Christian, a door is not just something to shut out things or to provide a measure of security. It is the symbol of an entry into a new life. Jesus tells us in John 10 that he is the “door of the sheep” and that if anyone enters in through that door, he will “find pasture.” John 10:7-9. Although the invitation to fellowship with the Savior is freely given, we must open the door in faith and allow Him in. There is no handle on the door on which Jesus is knocking; only those inside can open the door and allow the Master in.

(13) “In This Sign”

In This Sign window

Presented in 1963 By
The Ada Dayvault Circle

The intertwined I, H, and S are often said to represent the first letters of the first three words of the Latin phrase “In Hoc Signo Vinces.” It is said that the Emperor Constantine, while preparing to meet the forces of Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, nine miles North of Rome, had a dream or vision in which he saw a sign in the sky made up of the Greek letters Chi (X) and Rho (P). Constantine heard a voice say “In hoc signo vinces,” or “In this sign you will conquer.” He made a new symbol composed of a P superimposed over an X and had the men place the symbol on their shields. X and P are the first letters of the Greek world for Jesus, or XPICTOC. Constantine won a great victory. He recognized Christianity as a state religion, ending years of persecution and greatly strengthening the faith and the church. It is now sometimes said that “IHS” stands for “I Have Suffered” and reminds us of the sacrificial love of Jesus.

(14) “Light of the World”

Light of the World window

Matthew 10:27. “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” (KJV)

Presented In 1963 By
Lillie A. Scott
Bible Class

The lighted cross lighting the world represents the ultimate victory of Christianity. It also reminds us of the Great Commission given us by the Savior before his Ascension. When he preached the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew records his charge to his followers: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16). This beautiful window brings to mind those who have faithfully gone forth as missionaries to preach the word throughout the world.

(15) “Easter Lilies”

Easter Lilies window

Luke 24: 1-3. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (KJV)

In Loving Memory Of
Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Nelson Barnhardt
By The Family

The beloved Easter Lily, so named because it is in full bloom at Easter, has become special to us. Not only a symbol of purity and of God’s creation, it speaks to us of the Resurrection of the Savior, of new life and of rebirth. Here there are three lilies, significant as representative of the Holy Trinity and of the three days Jesus lay in the grave.

(16) “The Way of Love”

The Way of Love window

I Corinthians 13: 13. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mr. & Mrs. G.T. King, Sr.
By The
C.M. King Family

After Paul explains that we are given various gifts to use in God’s service and to strengthen his church, he concludes that none are of importance if they are done without love. Unlike other gifts, love is a gift that the Spirit bestows upon all believers. Without it, we cannot live together as a community of believers, for without it we lack the affection and respect that translate into compassion and a recognition of each person’s dignity. Without love, we are but become as “clanging cymbals.”

(17) “Dove and Olive Leaf”

Dove and Olive Leaf window

Genesis 8:11. “And the dove came in to him in the evening; and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.” (KJV).

In Memory Of
Jay Goodman
By The Family

The ark is often used as a symbol of the church, because the ark represented a place of safety from God’s judgment in the form of a great flood. Sin had ruined God’s creation. The people were caught up in the things of the world, and were not open to God’s word. God determined that He would destroy the world and repopulate it from the offspring of Noah, who was open to the will of God. Noah acted in reliance on his faith and built an ark in the face of ridicule from his neighbors. His family and representatives of the animals of the earth were saved by the ark while those around him were destroyed. When the flood waters began to abate, Noah sent forth the dove. On its second attempt, the bird brought back an olive leaf showing that the waters were receding from the earth. Since that time, the dove and olive leaf have symbolized hope and God’s enduring love for his creation.

(18) “Victory in Jesus” (Crown and the Cross)

Crown and the Cross window

Revelation 2:10b. “. . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (KJV)

Presented in 1963 By
The W.L. Harris Family

As we have already seen, the cross is a symbol of sacrifice and reminds us of the depths of despair we feel on Good Friday. With the addition of a crown, the cross becomes an enduring symbol of victory. From the earliest times, a crown was a symbol of royalty. In II Samuel we read the story of David’s defeat of the King of Rabbah and taking his gold-encrusted crown as a prize of battle. (II Samuel 12:30). The psalmist prophesied that upon the Messiah’s head “shall [David’s] crown flourish.” (Psalm 132:18). In Revelation, Christ fulfilled that prophecy, for He rode upon the white horse and on his head “were many crowns;” he had achieved his Kingship, for on his thigh was written “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:12, 16).

(19) “A Mighty Fortress” (A Reformation People)

A Mighty Fortress window

Psalms 18: 1-3 (selected). The Lord is . . . my fortress . . . and my deliverer.

In Memory Of
Mr. and Mrs. John W. Dayvault
Mr. Aldine C. Dayvault
By The Family

“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing . . .” Thus begins Martin Luther’s great hymn of the Reformation. The great reformers of the sixteenth century did not see themselves as revolutionaries, nor did they want to destroy the established church. They wanted to reform it from within. They questioned the power of the papacy, and preached a forgiving God, not a punitive one. They disdained the church’s quest to raise large sums of money by taking advantage of the ignorance and superstition of the peasants, offering them blessings and indulgences. They also sought to make the Word of God available to everyone, by having the Bible translated into the language of the people. For all these things, they were persecuted, hunted down, imprisoned and sometimes killed. Luther’s great hymn celebrates Jesus Christ as constant companion and deliverer, as well as his belief that although the body might be killed, God’s truth would still endure and survive.

(20) “A Dove Descending”

A Dove Descending window

Presented in 1963 By
The B.L. Umberger Family

The dove often symbolizes the Holy Spirit. We are told in Matthew 3:16 that when Jesus was baptized by John, he came up out of the water and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and lighted on him. We think about the Spirit descending on Jesus as representing a sign of God’s approval of his beloved Son and the beginning of His ministry. The power of the Spirit came upon Him and remained with Him. In the Christian church, we trace our beginnings to the eventful day we celebrate as Pentecost, when the power of the Spirit descended upon those who met in the Upper Room, and the world was changed forever.

(21) “Three Crosses on Calvary”

Three Crosses on Calvary window

Luke 23: 33. “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.” (KJV)

In Memory Of
Mrs. Lenora Wagoner Denny
Mrs. Ozell Denny Edsel
By The Family

Nothing symbolizes the excruciating and humiliating death the Savior suffered as an expiation for our sins like the image of three stark crosses on the hill we call Calvary. He suffered the punishment called crucifixion, hanging between two criminals, and deserted by his disciples who had forsaken him and fled when soldiers appeared in Gethsemane. Those who were executed have been taken down, and the crosses are bare. For the Christian, the message is that no cross, no grave, could hold the Savior of the world, who rose that we might live. For us, the cross is the symbol of love’s triumph, a love without boundaries and without condition.

(22) “Open Bible and Lamp”

Open Bible and Lamp window

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (KJV)

In Honor Of
Mrs. K. Lee Steele Scott
By K. Lee Scott Circle

The open Holy Bible speaks to us of God’s ultimate truth and the power of his Word. We can only agree with the psalmist, who said: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. . . . How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalms 119: 97, 103). For the Christian, the Word of his God lights the way to life eternal. The open Bible also reminds us that we are commissioned by the Master to preach and teach the Word throughout the world, for it is an enduring gift to all people.