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Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Featured Windows, January 2009

River Terrace Church

Building: River Terrace Church

City: East Lansing

State: Michigan

River Terrace Church, East Lansing, MI. Built 1969. Dan Vos, Ada, MI, architect. 1997 addition. Mike Mayotte, Lansing, MI, architect.

River Terrace Church was organized in 1934 under the name of First Christian Reformed Church of Lansing. In 1969 the congregation moved from its first building in central Lansing to its present home in East Lansing, located across from the MSU campus. Designed in a contemporary style by architect Dan Vos of Ada, MI, the building is situated on the banks of the Red Cedar River. The name of the church was changed in 1978 to River Terrace Church. In 1997 a major addition, designed by Mike Mayotte of Mayotte Group Architects in Lansing, MI, provided needed space for classrooms, nursery, gym, gathering place and offices. The church will observe the seventy-fifth anniversary of its founding in 2009.

The location of the church beside the Red Cedar River influenced the theme of its sanctuary windows, “The Flow of God’s Spirit.” Designed by Robert Johnson and fabricated in 2000 by Conrad Schmitt Studios of New Berlin, WI, five adjacent windows represent the Spirit of God as a flowing and life-renewing river. The central window holds images of the sun and moon, together with a dove and a rainbow, symbols of the Holy Spirit; other images in the windows suggest stars and falling rain. The theme of the windows is based also on scriptural passages that refer to the healing powers of a spiritual river. (Jeremiah 17:7-8; Ezekiel 47:9).

Conrad Schmitt Studios, founded by Conrad Schmitt at Milwaukee in 1889, has been directed by three generations of the Gruenke family since 1951. Designer Robert Johnson has been with the studio for over fifty years. Another window by the studio was featured on our website in October, 2003.

Figs. 2-6. "The Flow of God's Spirit." A series of five windows designed by Robert Johnson, Conrad Schmitt Studios, New Berlin, WI, 2000.

River Terrace Church was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Eunice Bossenbrook, Lansing, MI, with photography by Paul Workman of Okemos, MI.

Bibliography: Show Bibliography

(MSGC 2008.0021)