We are blessed to be able to worship and fellowship in a building that is architecturally beautiful. Every so often we entertain visitors who are interested in touring the inside of the church, and people want to know more about the stained glass windows.
“A church is more than a building… It is a gathering of God’s people. However, these people need a place where they can draw strength and renewal from scripture, sermons, music, and each other.” -- Judith Bronk and Helen Dickens, Capital Campaign Co-Chairs, 1997
Our first church was a white clapboard building, built in 1826. It served the congregation for sixty-six years. By the 1890s, times had changed and the local area bustled with industry and enterprise. The rapid growth of the church membership led to the Trustees’ decision to regrettably tear down the old clapboard building and construct a new church. The cornerstone of the new church was laid in the spring of 1894 and the completed church was dedicated in February of 1895.
According to the Sandy Hill Herald, the designing architects were E. Ogden & Son of Albany, and the builders were the Gibson Bros. of Sandy Hill. The designer or studio of the stained glass windows was not mentioned. However, over the next 100 years, the sun would shine through the colorful gem-like pieces and grace all who would gather.
Rev. Roger Martin said it best during the Capital Campaign in 1997:
“As I sit in the sanctuary in times of prayer and meditation, I find great meaning in the words of Isaiah.1 The pieces of stained glass are windows to heaven, filled with the kaleidoscope of color that bathes the individual in God’s presence.”
The windows were now showing their age and in need of repair. The Capital Fund Campaign was organized, and the restoration and releading of the windows was accomplished. This was through the dedicated fundraising efforts of the congregation and the skill of Our Glass of Hampden, Massachusetts.
The following year, we were honored to be one of the 1998 recipients of the Washington County Historical Preservation Award.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. If you’d like to learn more, contact the church office or visit us for worship (and Coffee Hour!) any Sunday at 10am, at 5 River Street.
1 Is. 24:18 ASV - For the windows of heaven are opened and the foundations of the earth tremble.
Stones of the Past, Mortar of the Present, Booklet Compilation by Marjorie and Judith Bronk for the 100th Anniversary of the current church building, 1990s.
Church records and special service bulletins.