Columbiana UMC gets new stained glass windowsPublished 4:42pm Monday, September 30, 2013
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
The dream of members of Columbiana United Methodist Church to glorify God through art and Biblical passages has been realized with the installation of companion stained glass windows on the altar wall in the sanctuary.
A dedication service will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 6 in the church sanctuary. Pastor Buster Timmons will preach on the subject matter of the two windows: the nativity of Jesus and parable of the Good Shepard.
The gothic windows in rich, deep jewel tones were made by design firm Willet Hauser of Philadelphia, Penn. Hauser is the oldest producer of stain glass windows in the United States since the late 1800s. It has done work for National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and many churches across the country including 20 churches in Birmingham.
A special committee at CUMC was devoted to complete this dream, a process that took years in the making. The committee visited churches to choose the company, worked with Susan Bockius of Hauser to develop the design, visited Hauser during production and construction, and was involved in the installation of the windows.
The process of making the stain glass windows goes back more than a thousand years. All the work was done by hand by skilled artisans. Original artwork of one of the premier stain glass designers Colum Sharkey was adapted to CUMC by staff designer Jane Collins. Sharkey worked at Hauser from 1967 until his death in 2000 and his designs are in the Washington Hall at West Point and many churches. Each piece of handmade glass is chosen from a collection purchased from all over the world. The windows were hand-painted by artist Jean Garner using a brown/black paint mixture of iron oxide and ground glass. After each piece is painted and fired, they are bound together with lead which has been soldered on front and back with reinforcing steel bars.
The public is invited to the dedication on Oct. 6 to see these magnificent windows glorifying God through art and Biblical passages.
A DVD of the construction process is in the church library for public viewing.