WILMINGTON —First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at the corner of Columbus and North Walnut streets recently completed a 12-month series of capital projects on their 113-year-old sanctuary building.

The final task of the campaign was to reinstall 16 newly refurbished stained-glass windows in the church’s cupola (the church has 72 such windows in all). These windows were removed in October 2020 in preparation for the church’s roof to be replaced and were restored to their original beauty by Beauverre Riordan Stained-Glass Studio of Middletown.

The pastor has affectionately named the windows facing in the cardinal directions after the 12 Apostles, and the four corner windows for the Gospels.

If you pass the church at night, you’ll be captivated by the light pouring forth from the cupola, the church’s reminder to the community of John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness and the dark has not overcome it.”

The $250,000 “Raise the Roof” campaign — 10 times the original cost of the building which was constructed in 1908 — included significant roof, chimney, and drain repairs, painting of exposed wood surfaces including the large cupola, repairing and painting the sanctuary ceilings and walls, technology upgrades to significantly improve live-streaming capabilities for worship and special programing, and the final project, the stained-glass window project in the cupola.

These updates and repairs were accomplished during much of the pandemic shutdown and were made possible through the leadership of the church’s trustees, the hands-on labor of a dedicated group of members, and generous donations from members and friends of First Christian Church, an historic Wilmington congregation established in 1828.

These projects have provided the congregation a safe and beautiful sanctuary in which to worship for many generations to come. To that end, An Act of Rededication to the Glory of God for the church and church family, was shared in worship on Sunday, December 19.

First Christian Church would like to extend its gratitude to all those who supported this project and to the talented craftsmen and artisans who accomplished the work on time and on budget – truly a blessing!

First Christian Church is pastored by Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson.

This composite photo shows two views of the project.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_composite-1-2.jpgThis composite photo shows two views of the project. Submitted photos

By Jim Bradley

For the News Journal