Wednesday, December 9, 2009

St. John's Lutheran, Fremont

Downtown Fremont, Ohio is a historic church wonderland! Among the many treasures is St. John's, actually only a block away from the bigger congregation of Grace Lutheran. Very surprising to see that this arrangement works out, since both congregations are holding their own pretty nicely. Wish that sort of thing could work out in Toledo ...
Even from the outside, these windows are tantalizingly beautiful. Love the tracery ...
Monolithic tower ...The apse, facing an alleyway so it's not easy to see ...
This mighty fortress was built in 1917, although this cornerstone speaks of a much older time and place ...
We visited on two occasions. The first time was late in the afternoon on an increasingly blustery summer day, and the church was locked. I shot this teaser of a photo through the front doors ... then I went home and called the church office to set up a time to get in there!
And when you DO get in there ... this is what you see from the balcony. Marvelous!!Bride-and-groom's-eye view from in front of the altar ...
These pipes are wonderful!
Lovely baptistry and marble font ...
It appears that the church's website is being re-constructed, so I can't access any historic info. However, at the time of my visit, I was given some info regarding the windows ...
An article from the Fremont News-Messenger in 1986 read in part: "The windows in St. John's Lutheran Church in Fremont and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Clyde look more like oil paintings than glass with their deep red, purple and green tones. (note: I have photos of Clyde St. Paul's also, which I will get to as quickly as possible.) St. John's windows were installed in 1917 when the church was first built. They were designed by the Von Gerichten Art Glass Company in Columbus, which just happened to have some of the Bavarian glass on hand from their German studios."
"The windows, like most others, are in the Gothic style, with five panels or lancets creating a single scene. The church's south window depicts Jesus in Gethsemane with his disciples sleeping in the background as he speaks with an angel. The north window depicts the resurrection with Jesus coming out from the cave, rising from the dead."
Look at the detailing in the robes, both the angel's and Christ's...
Mary Magdalene's wavy hair ... and the greens and blues of the trees and fields and mountains in the background ...The geometric patterns in these windows, that resemble spires and pinnacles, are spellbinding!
More of that detailing in the angel's robe ...
... and the sleeping disciples, bathed in more shades of blue.
Now ... take a good, close look at that altar. It's not immediately easy to see because of the light-on-light tones of the altar against the wall, but ... that reredos is literally over the top ... of the center window! This is thoroughly unique.
High pinnacles at either side ... the golds and greens in the side windows picking up the gold color in the gilt-edged tracery.
Yes ... it lights.Beautiful, lacy old crucifix.
... and tall, ornate candlesticks.
Fascinating Last Supper inlaid sculpture ...
Framed by this most unusual altar, is this lovely scene of a tranquil Christ in the lilies, with His arms outstretched.
The balcony window is just this giant geometric color wheel ... I LOVE the burning-candle imagery, and the patterns in that quatrefoil!
Now this is just THE BEST - THE BEST pulpit I've seen anywhere!!
WROUGHT IRON, for cryin' out loud!!!
Another striking eagle lectern. I've seen several of these beautiful pieces now. Some are wooden; some, like this one, appear to be brass or another metal. (There is an Episcopal church in Buffalo that has a magnificent, museum-caliber brass eagle lectern on an ornate brass and marble base. It's just over the top!).
Two lovely tapestries on the walls by the back entrance.
And standing watch, in a sitting room inside the parish house ...
A big word of thanks to the staff of St. John's for being so very accommodating!


  1. Those are some great photos. I enjoyed looking at each one. Thank you for posting them.

    Laura Goff Parham
    State of the Art, Inc
    Stained Glass Studio SOTAGLASS.COM

  2. Thank you, Laura -- I enjoyed looking at all the wonderful artwork on your company's website!

  3. Wow! This is utterly fantastic! Big fan of the altar and pipe organ!

  4. You have some amazing photos on here. I am searching for church stained glass windows for the new building my congregation is building. I wish we had the money to get windows like the ones on here.