Tiffany Stained Glass Windows
The windows which adorn the sanctuary were made in the New York studio of the renowned glass artisan Louis C. Tiffany in 1915, and are registered with the Morse Gallery of Art in Winter Park, Florida. They represent some of the finest ecclesiastical art of any period in America.
The Rose and Lancet Window is produced without the aid of painting. Many layers of glass are put together to create the illusion of depth. The mottled effect in the glass and the actual folding of glass for leafy foliage is predominant in this window.
The Angel window, in memory of Maria Swift Dana, 1845-1912, also utilizes the folding glass technique in the gown as well as in the angel’s wings. The only additional decoration is the painting of the face, arms, and feet. The painting is done internally within the window structure.
The Good Shepherd window, in memory of Elizabeth Ruffner Comstock and Luious L. Comstock, also shows the folds of glass in the clothing of the shepherd and the young shepherd boy. The controlled flow of colors within the glass, with many layers to create depth as well as intensity of color is see in the foliage of the trees. The only painting done on this window is in the faces and arms. The painting is done on the outside.
The Good Samaritan window, in memory of Joseph Marshall Staunton, is done without any painting at all. The faces are controlled flows of colored glass with special effects greeted in the facial lighting and in the cup of water.
Lo, I Am With You Always , in memory of Rev. Hugh Wallace Torrence, has deep somber tones of glass forming the sky, clouds, and garment. The face and hands are controlled flows of glass.
Willet Stained Glass Windows
The Henry Lee Willet studios of Philadelphia installed six stained and leaded glass windows in KUPC in March of 1966.Tiffany was a proponent of the “American Opalescent” school of stained glass, which has a milky quality that does not transmit light as Willet windows do. About 80% of the glass in the Willet windows is from Blenko. At the time, Ruby glass was not available in the United States because the government would not release the gold necessary to produce the ruby-colored glass. This was therefore bought in England.
The Ministry of Christ, In memory of Dr. and Mrs. Andrew McMillan, given by Mr. and Mrs. W. Owen McMillan, Mr. and Mrs. T. Harvey McMillan, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Osler McMillan.
The central theme is Christ preaching His great Sermon on the Mount. The people surrounding Him are both male and female, young and old. Other incidents in His ministry are His blessing the children, speaking to Mary and Martha in their home in Bethany, and meeting the Woman of Samaria by the well. At the bottom Christ is expounding the law in the synagogue. The two more contemporary incidents show John Joyce, the circuit rider, one of the legion who carried Christianity throughout America while it was still a wilderness, and Wesley at the moment of his great awakening at the meeting at Aldergate Street. The clan McMillan shield is also included.
Nativity, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Staunton, given by Mrs. C. Staunton Hill. The central theme shows the Holy Family gathered in the stall under the star of Bethlehem. They are accompanied by an ox, an ass, and a lamb. Vignettes are significant incidents of the Old Testament. At the very top Adam and Eve are driven from the Paradise Garden by an angel with a flaming sword. The fall of man is included to show the necessity of salvation by the Son of God. Next below is Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his beloved son, Isaac, a type of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Moses is shown receiving the Tablets of the Law from God on Mount Sinai. Below the central scene David, the Psalmist, plays the harp and John the Baptist comes out of the wilderness to proclaim the coming of Christ. At the bottom, the boy Christ is shown in the Temple surrounded by the doctors’ “both hearing them and asking them questions.
Discipleship, in memory of Edward Wilber Staunton, Florence Buffington Merrill, and Rhuel Hampton Merrill, given by the Staunton and Merrill Families.
The central subject is Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to leave their nets and become His disciples. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” At the top John baptizes Christ. He submits to the old ritual, washing, thus giving it a new connotation. Immediately below, Christ calls Matthew the tax collector to be a disciple. Other vignettes show followers of the way of Christ throughout the ages. Stephan, young deacon, the first martyr being stoned is opposite Matthew. Below the central scene are Francis of Assisi, a rich young man who gave up everything to follow Christ, and the reformers, Luther, shown nailing the 95 theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg, and Waldo and Knox. The scene at the bottom is the Conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus resulting in Paul’s becoming the great supporter of the infant Christian Church and responsible for its spread throughout the then-known world. Also included were the seal of the city of Charleston, a Bible with a Westminster cross on it, and a rose.
The Great Commission, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Walter E. Clark, given by Mrs. Juliet Clark Alexander, Mr. Buckner Clay, Mr. Lyell Clay, and Mr. Fred M. Staunton.
After His Resurrection, Christ appeared to His apostles and commissioned them to carry the new religion to all. At the top the faithful gather in the upper room at the feast of Pentecost. The dove of the Holy Spirit hovers above. Peter is preaching. Next below is Dr. Livingstone in Africa and Dr. Chaddock and the First Brick Church. The orb with the cross symbolizes the triumph of Christianity over the whole world. Below the central scene, Augustine lands, bringing Christianity to England and is welcomed by King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha. They are flanked by two local clergymen. To the right is the Reverend William Graham who taught theology to almost all of those in the Valley of Virginia who entered the holy ministry. On the left is Dr. Henry Ruffner, writer, preacher, theologian, and professor of Washington College. At the bottom, Paul is shown baptizing Lydia, following Christ’s command. Included are seals of the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and the United Presbyterian Church.
Christ, The Physician of Soul and Body, in memory of Mr. Henry Larkin Terrie, given by Mrs. Henry L. Terrie.
Dominating the window is a figure of Christ with arms extended in invitation saying “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. The yoke is seen above, used as a symbol. The candles show Christ as the light of the world. People Christ healed miraculously of physical ills are at the top: Blind Bartmeus, Jairus’ daughter, and the women with the issue of blood. At the bottom He calls Zaccheus from the tree whence he had climbed in order to see, and forgives his sins. Also included are Clara Barton, foundress of the Red Cross, Albert Schweitzer, in Lambarene, and Samuel Higgenbottom.
Transfiguration, in memory of Mr. & Mrs. G. Bernard Gates, given by Mr. Charles B. Gates.
The glorified Christ appears on the Mount of Transfiguration flanked by Moses, holding the Tablets of the Law and Elijah, holding a scroll. Above Moses is a tau (T shaped) cross with serpent, the serpent he raised in the wilderness for the healing of the children of Israel. Above Elijah is the fiery chariot in which he rose to heaven. The Apostles, Peter, James, and John kneel at Christ’s feet turning their faces from His glory. All the other vignettes witness to Christ’s being the Son of God, the Messiah. At the top of the window His mother Mary receives the angel’s message that she shall bear the Holy Child. Next below Christ hands Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven as a result of Peter’s great confession of faith. Next, He heals the demoniac boy, a miracle that immediately followed the Transfiguration. Below the aged Simeon holds the Christ child recognizing Him as the promised Messiah, upon the occasion of His presentation in the Temple. The young Athanasius successfully defends against great odds the doctrine of the Trinity before the Emperor, Constantine at the Council of Nicea, defeating the Arian heresy forever. The philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard is seen on the right. At the bottom Christ restores Lazarus to life. An orange blossom is included.
Additional Stained Glass Windows
There are several other stained glass windows in the Church.Upon entering through the main front doors, one is greeted by what may be two more Willet Windows. The one in the West Vestibule entitled Come Unto Me is in memory of Lucy Brown Barber and Timothy Lawrence Barber.
The Window in the East Vestibule, with two coats of arms, is in memory of Ralph Nelson Shepard and Arnold Appleton Barnes.
Upon entering from the side entrance, one encounters a window which also appears to be a Willet Window, which is in memory of Susan Porter Miner.
Further to the South in what is now the office of the Administrative Assistant are two beautiful Art Glass windows, without title or annotation.
Photography by Steve Payne