2011-09-21 / Front Page

Bethel AME Church dedicates new windows

By Deborah Bennett Millen News Editor


Above, left, JoAnn Shumake is shown admiring one of the new stained glass windows at Bethel AME Church. Above, right, The old windows at Bethel have been made into angels that will be presented to purchasers of the new windows.(Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) Above, left, JoAnn Shumake is shown admiring one of the new stained glass windows at Bethel AME Church. Above, right, The old windows at Bethel have been made into angels that will be presented to purchasers of the new windows.(Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) Bethel AME Church is letting its light shine inside and out with the help of new stained glass windows! Ten beautiful windows were commissioned from artist Robin Schweitzer, owner of Schweitzer Art Glass Studio Inc. in Augusta and have been installed.

Church member JoAnn Shumake spearheaded the effort which began August, 2009 and will culminate with a dedication service 3 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 25, at the church.

“ Each window is hand painted and each section individually cut. It took 8-12 weeks to complete each one. We did everything from the lay-out to the installation, and Ms. Shumake was absolutely wonderful to work with,” said Ms. Schweitzer.

Each window features a central medallion with a different theme at a cost of $1,905 each. Four of the windows which feature the life of Christ scenery cost an additional $85. The project was funded with donations from individuals and groups made “in memory or in honor” of loved ones. A plaque noting those remembered is featured on each window.

Those honored with the windows, were: #1 – In memory of Rev. Arnest and Carrie Foster, Nick Foster; #2 – In memory of Beauty Brady and Family, Frank Roberson and Frank Shumake, Mamie and K. B. Davis, Essie L. Roberson; #3 – Akins-Grier Family, In memory of Hattie Mary Grier, Henry Grier Jr.; #4 – Boles-Miller Family by Thomas Boles Jr.; #5 – Shirley, Pamelia and Wanda Dwight, In memory of Dea. W.S. Dwight Jr.; #6 – Lambert- Edwards Family, Bible Study, Sunday School and Choir; #7 – Minnie E. Moses, In memory of Octavia and John R. Roberts, Melinda R. Sapp; # 8 – In memory of George Dewey Hart, Fannie Hart, Anice Hart, Lucy J. McNair; # 9 – In memory of Katherine Jackson, J. Marion Sr., G.C. Murray and R.B. Murray; and #10 – Savannah District, Presiding Elder Nathaniel Neal, June 2011. Donors to the transom in the foyer were Zelda Plair Carter, Crystal Plair Craig and Sheila B. Dunnum.

The cost of the windows did not include repair work that was needed to some of the window sill, said Ms. Shumake. Those who sponsored fundraisers to cover those costs were Barbara M. Ford, Jacinda Ford-Dixon, Viola Baldwin, Daisy Smith, Jamie Ford, Unity Community Choir-directed by Macarthur Haynesworth and Lessie H. Johnson. Member John Davis, who visits when he is Millen, also provided assistance.

So, what became of the old windows? They will be put to good use.

“We made angels from the old windows, and these will be presented to each purchaser of the new windows as a souvenir,” said Ms. Shumake.

The project will be completed in November or earlier with the installation of a light box behind the choir seating. Donors to the light box project were Presiding Elder Nathaniel Neal, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold R. Mosley, Lessie H. Johnson, Martha H. Harris, Laurita M. Burley, Tony A. Holmes, Lillie M. Boyd, Thomas S. Boles Jr., the Rev. and Mrs. James C. Jones and Richard F. Williams.

The project was initiated and completed under the pastorship of the Rev. James C. Jones.

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