Stained Glass Windows

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GOOD SHEPHERD WINDOW. (Manufactured by the Wells Glass Company of Chicago, installed in 1897, and fully restored in 2011)

The Good Shepherd window above the altar is a most exquisite expression of the artist’s creation.  The intricate detail of the craftsman’s work is superb.  In a 1967 appraisal analysis, the appraiser noted that: “This is the most beautiful Church window I have ever seen.  It has none of the ‘lumpy’ blocks of color.  At 40’ it appears as a transparent canvas painted with translucent pigments by the hand of a great master.  The afternoon sunlight brings this scene almost to life…the Reverend Dr. Brueseke… told me that the window was purchased from the display at the German Pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair by a group of Church Ladies for $75.00.”  While that information was part of an oral tradition believed to be true at the time, we now know from an article on page 7 of the December 10, 1897 South-Bend Daily Tribune that the window was actually part of the exhibit of the Wells Glass Company (of Chicago) located in the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. The window appears to have been based on the great painting, "The Good Shepherd," by the widely known German artist, Bernard Plockhorst (1825-1907).  Plockhorst based his painting on the Gospel story found in John 10:1-16. A complete interpretation of the painting is found at pages 533—536 of Christ and the Fine Arts by Cynthia Pearl Maus (1938, Harper & Row).  Translated from the original German,  the dedicatory inscription which is hidden from view by the altar reads: Jesus came to look for the lost ones. Gift of the young people.

 

CHRIST IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.
(Manufactured & Installed by the Kinsella Stainless Glass Co. of Chicago in 1901)

This beautiful window is a copy of the well known painting depicting Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He was arrested by the Roman soldiers.
It is copied from Johann Heinrich Hoffman’s Christ in Gethsemane painting based on Luke 22:39-46 which is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful examples of all religious art.  An interpretation of the painting is found at pages 284—288 of Christ and the Fine Arts.  The dedicatory inscription translated from the original German reads:  Donated by Bernhard Neitzel family.

 

CHRIST KNOCKING AT THE DOOR.
(Manufactured & Installed by the Kinsella Stainless Glass Co. of Chicago in 1901)

This large window is another religious classic akin to the Light of The World painting by William Holman Hunt or a painting by Plockhorst and likely is based on Luke 22:39-46 Revelations 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.”  The dedicatory inscription translated from the original German reads: Donated by Lena Armbruster & confirmation class of 1900 and several young ladies .  

 

ROCK OF AGES.                        
(Manufactured & Installed by the Kinsella Stainless Glass Co. of Chicago in 1901)

This exquisite window has no particular Bible reference beyond the fact that it depicts the support and security that one’s faith (the Cross) provides in times of distress and adversity. It seems to mirror the Rock Of Ages painting by Johannes A. Oertel (1823-1901).  He was an artist born in Bavaria and became an Episcopal rector in North Carolina.  The dedicatory inscription translated from the original German reads: Donated by the Sewing Circle 1899.

 

CHRIST WALKING ON THE SEA.
(Manufactured & Installed by the Kinsella Stainless Glass Co. of Chicago in 1901)

This large window is very special as it recalls to the viewer the biblical story recorded in Matthew 14:28 when Peter, wanting to follow Jesus on the sea, began to sink into the water. Crying out in fear, Jesus reaches out to help him and then rebukes Peter for having so little faith.  It may be an interpretation of the painting Christ Walking on water and reaching out his hand to save St. Peter by the French painter Ferdinand Victor Eugéne Delacroix (1798—1863)or a Plockhorst painting. The dedicatory inscription translated from the original German reads: Donated by Phillip Georg and Peter Schafer.

 

THE BLESSING OF CHRIST.  (Based on a Thorvaldsen Sculpture)
(Manufactured & Installed by the Kinsella Stainless Glass Co. of Chicago in 1901 and fully restored in 2011).
 
This large and newly restored window in the balcony is based on Christus, a sculpture by the Danish sculptor Karl Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770—1844) which has been considered to be the most perfect statue of Christ in the world.  Over the years, members of the congregation have thought of the window as representing  "Christ’s Ascension." As one departs from the sanctuary, it seems to depict Jesus giving His final blessing on those below. The dedicatory inscription translated from the original German reads: Donated by family of Henry Christmann.        

Zion United Church of Christ / 211 S. St. Peter Street / South Bend, IN 46617

 

"Never place a period where God has put a comma."
Zion United Church of Christ South Bend
-Gracie Allen
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