Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bethlehem Lutheran, Pemberville

I truly don't know where to begin with this one. This church is utterly fabulous, inside and out. This is one of those small-town treasures that no one knows about! I have ALOT to post. I'll start with an overview and get to the details later.
The church was built 1908-09, to replace an earlier one built in 1862. The cornerstone from the earlier church is embedded in the side of the wall along with the current one. I love these two spires of uneven height.

The building is constructed of Ohio limestone.
The current altar is from a renovation carried out in 1955.
This chrismon is on the ceiling right over the altar.
The richly-furnished chancel.
When was the last time you saw something like THIS in a Lutheran church?! These statues were on the church's original altar, which was brought in from the earlier church. In 1944, the statues, in a state of disrepair, were put into storage in the attic, and stayed there for 60 years! In 2004, church historian Dale Bruning, and his brother Bob and wife Joanne, were able to arrange for the restoration of the statues by artist Valerie French in Perrysburg. The creches were cut into the wall, and the beautifully-restored statues were put on display, a part of the church's history back out in the open for all to appreciate. St. Paul on the left, St. Peter on the right, and the one in the center is John the Baptist! (There are also two lovely angels and a dove further up on the wall. The dove was at one time a topper for an old baptismal font.)

This wonderful spiral staircase, just inside the front door, leads up to the bell tower; and the bell is still operated by means of a rope!
A dedication plaque to Pastor Winterhoff, who oversaw the building of the church.
The windows ... simply amazing! Exceptional artwork! This big window, showing Jesus at Mary and Martha's, is in the west wall of the church, at the left side of the nave. That's Noah's Ark in the circle at the top.
This large Crucifixion-Resurrection window is in the south wall, at the back of the nave.
Jesus and Nicodemus, in the chancel.
The Ascension, over the altar.
The Good Shepherd, in the overflow room at the right side of the nave.
Gethsemane, in the chancel.
Moses, Christ "Come Unto Me", and St. Paul, in an open room between the sacristy and the overflow room.
Jesus blessing the children, in the overflow room.
Christmas - the angels come to the shepherds, in the overflow room.
And Martin Luther watches over the sacristy.
MUCH more later! But my thanks again, to Dale Bruning for guiding us around the church and furnishing all the extensive history information!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blade article: Community rallies to Salem Lutheran's aid

Anyone in the Toledo area who can be there tomorrow, June 27, come on down in the afternoon for some food and music to support one of the most important local causes I can think of.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

St. Jacobs Lutheran Church Anna Ohio

St. Jacobs is a big church in a small town. The stained glass windows in this church are amazing. Some are in need of some TLC/restoration but they are numerous and beautiful. But first lets see what the church looks like from the outside.

This small prayer garden along with an elevator are a few of the recent additions to the church.

There are two large 4 pane stained glass windows on both sides of the church. I am only going to feature one here. I'll save the other for a future post.

Left Click on the above picture for a spectacular view.

I just love taking pictures of this church. More to come later.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All Children Love the Lamb of God

Worn Stained Glass Window of the Lamb of GodSt. Jacobs Lutheran Church in Anna Ohio is a lovely church and has a wonderful collection of stained glass windows. The collection is one of the most diverse and numerous collections that I have found. This simple window with the Lamb of God has the best story however.

This window was located in the lady’s restroom, back in the day when the lady’s-room came with a bassinet instead of a changing table. The room also served as a refuge for those mothers who’s little one became fussy. If you look you can see where the children over the years have worn down the stain as they found comfort in petting the Lamb.

Look for more post featuring the windows and the rest of the church in upcoming post.

Monday, June 22, 2009

St. Matthew's Lutheran, Cridersville

A lovely country church nestled into the fields a bit north of Cridersville. The congregation dates back to 1836, with this being their fourth building. The church is ringed on three sides by a historic cemetery that is still very much active (the oldest sections are to the right of the church, the newest to the left and front.) My great-grandparents are buried here, as well as numerous other relatives on my dad's side. Candy, the church secretary, and Pastor Couser, who I had contacted by email, were most gracious and helpful during my visit.
This is a drawing of the little brick church that served the congregation from 1876 to 1967, when the current building was erected. This drawing is from their 100th-anniversary Centennial Book. The next four photos are from the church's history pages, which also list all the former pastors:
What a peaceful, bucolic setting, nestled in among all those trees ...
I didn't go through the entire building, so I'm wondering if they still have that altar and that painting over it, around there somewhere ...
This shelterhouse was built on the site of the old church, which was demolished in 1967 as the current church was being built. The shelterhouse is used for summer worship, in addition to the usual picnics and outdoor events. It's easy to sit inside the shelterhouse and get a sense of how the old church must have been.
The shelterhouse holds a memorial to the old church, which contains the cornerstone.
The church sanctuary is cozy and inviting. In 2001, it underwent a renovation during which the acoustic tile on the ceiling (?!) was removed and these lovely wood beams put into place as the roof was rebuilt. Many other needed updates were made at that time as well, and the details can be seen here:

The altar, formerly against the back wall, was moved forward:
These sixteen stained-glass windows add their own unique glow. Each bears the same graphic pattern, but each has a different chrismon in the center. The chrismons look old, but they're not. I thought maybe they had been taken from the old church, but they're part of the original design. These windows are lovely and very well-done.
The window at the back of the nave, organ pipes in silhouette.

I'm glad they kept this cemetery gate and maintained it over the decades. Even though it serves only a decorative purpose now, it does a beautiful job of setting the historic mood of the old part of the cemetery in an ever-so-slightly surreal and spooky manner.

This little garden is bedecked with the red Pentecost flowers, and Bible verses on the plaques.

Thank you again to Candy Stevely and Pr. Couser for helping to make my day special, both for photography and geneaology. To my great-grandparents, Albert & Emma Sellers, and the rest of my extended family -- rest well, until I see you again.