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!

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