Vintage stained glass windows installed in Georgiana church

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2005

A dream project that has been in the planning stages for several years is nearing completion in south Butler County.

The First Baptist Church of Georgiana began rebuilding their church approximately 18 months ago, after the original three-story 19th century building was deemed structurally unsound.

"We couldn't figure out a way to put the old church 'back together again,' so to speak, so the decision was made to pull it down and build a new structure," Allen Stephenson, pastor of FBCG, said.

Within the past week-and-a-half, the stained glass windows salvaged from the old church have been installed in the new 10,000 square foot building.

Six interior windows and seven exterior windows were put into place.

One additional stained glass window, a half-window for the pastor's office, is yet to be installed.

Protective glass was used with each of the exterior windows. According to Stephenson, the installers found it a tricky job getting everything in place without trapping certain pesky insects inside.

"However, the men managed to outlast the love bugs and get them put in," the pastor joked.

Because of cracks and other damages in the century-old windows, the stained glass was first sent to a company in Virginia to be repaired.

"They look beautiful, and they are now where folks can see them and enjoy them," Stephenson said.

The church continues to put finishing touches on the interior and exterior, with a target date of Oct. 30 for its dedication and first service.

"It's been marvelous to see God's work in all of this.

Every restored window was sponsored in memory or honor of someone. So that $30,000 in cost was taken care of by various families," Stephenson explained.

The new building's single-floor design will be a boon to the elderly and handicapped, the pastor said.

During the construction, members have attended services at the G-ana Theatre, owned by JC. and Marilyn Sims.

"They have been such a blessing to us by allowing us to use the theater during the rebuilding." Stephenson said.

"We've actually grown a bit during this time – and we are very thankful to J.C. and Marilyn for their help."