Nebraska church restoring historic stained glass windows | News

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — For decades, light has filtered through the stained glass windows of First United Methodist Church in Fremont.

But when members noticed some deterioration in those windows, they knew action was needed.

So the church has embarked on a $102,000 project to restore the 18 stained glass windows in the building. Restoration work, which began last fall, has been completed on five of the windows. It probably will take another year before the project is complete.

Members already have noticed a difference. Light streams more easily through the colorful windows and symbols, such as the lilies, look brighter.

Members of the church’s blue-shirted Prayer and Repair team reflected on how the window project began.

“Our church was built in 1921 and we noticed that some of the windows were starting to show signs of bowing,” Gail Bevington told the Fremont Tribune ( ).

Lead that surrounded the individual pieces of glass has been deteriorating and giving way. Thus, the glass is sagging and bowing.

Church member Claude Harder added something else.

“We think maybe some of the problem was caused by the hotel blow up,” Harder said referring to the 1976 Hotel Pathfinder explosion.

That especially could be the case for a window on the southeast side of the building.

Last spring, representatives of three stained glass restoration companies were asked to examine the windows and make recommendations.

“Each of them told us the same thing — that the lead in the linings was deteriorated and that we would need to do something, because the glass was going to start falling out,” said the Rev. Michael McGregor.

The windows are very important to the church.

“They’re historical and certainly we needed to take action to make sure we didn’t have a problem,” Bevington said.

And no one wants a window to give way and possibly…

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