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Evangelical Presbyterian Church boasts a new stained glass window

Post Time:Dec 05,2008Classify:Glass QuotationView:480

ELKTON - A beautiful stained glass round window now stands in the north wall of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on U.S. 340 between Elkton and Shenandoah.

The gift of Marguerite Dean, it was dedicated at the church on Nov. 9 to the glory of God and in memory of Dean's husband, Randal Dean, who died in October of 2001.

Discussion about a window started five years ago, and required extensive planning, family consulting, and then a prolonged, and painstaking, period of construction.

One question Dean and her six children had to decide was the content of the window. What would be the most fitting memorial?

"Randal had a favorite verse of scripture," Marguerite Dean said. "It was Jesus' promise, in John 14:1-3, that begins ‘Let not your heart be troubled,' and goes on to say that in His father's house were many mansions; that he was going to prepare a place for us and would come again to receive us, and that He was sending the Holy Spirit to comfort us."

In the center of the window is a white dove, representing the Holy Spirit, descending on a multiplicity of domed and gable-roofed dwellings.

At first, the Dean's daughter, Rhonda Meredith of Elkton, who teaches art at the Blue Ridge Christian School, considered constructing the window, but then realized the magnitude of the job.

The Dean's son-in-law, Craig Baugher, who works in stained glass as a respite from computer work at James Madison University, took on the assignment.

"It required over 750 hours of labor, including glass cutting, assembling the glass pieces with lead divider strips, and soldering each lead strip to the glass on both sides," Baugher recalled.

The final window is six feet in diameter and covers an area of 29 square feet. The work was demanding because a slight mistake in the dimensions of the many cut pieces would render the final work out-of-shape.

"I started at the center and worked outwards, following the agreed-on design," Baugher said. "It was challenging to make a circular window of this size and end up, at the circumference, with a perfectly round outer edge just one-eighth of an inch smaller than the frame for the round clear window which was being replaced."

Baugher was also challenged to create a very large window that was strong enough not to sag.

"The entire window is surrounded with a zinc, U-shaped channel for strength. There are also steel reinforcement bars ‘inside' the window, following the lines of some of the lead joints," he said.

"The steel bars are attached to the lead with a copper wire in between," he added.

Baugher, with four glass installers from Harrisonburg Glass and Metals, installed the window in October. Now he would like to see stained glass used more extensively.

"Many people view stained glass only as a decorative craft," he said. "I would like to see expectations broadened and see more of it designed for and appreciated again in public spaces."

Evangelical Prebyterian Pastor Rob Buchanan is happy with the new window, and gratefully recalled an important earlier gift from the couple.

"The Dean's gave the land for this church, back in the early 1990s, before they were members," he explained.

The Rev. Jim Martin, who founded the Evangelical Presbyterian Church as a home church in Elkton, was out looking for a place to build in the early 1990s. He spoke at the window dedication service last month. When Martin was hunting for land, the Deans had a large farm where the church now stands on five acres. They had been trying, without success, to sell the whole farm.

"It was a big corn field," said Marguerite Dean.

"We couldn't sell it, so we decided to give the five acres to the church in 1993. I think the Lord saved it for this purpose," she added.

The church is holding open house, as part of the EPIC Holiday Church and Home tour, from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7.

Source: dnronline.comAuthor: shangyi

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