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Featured Windows, April 2007

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Building: St. Paul's Episcopal Church

City: Flint

State: Michigan

St. Paul's Episcopal parish was organized in the small village of Flint River in late 1839. Although the new parish held its first worship service on Christmas Day of that year, the official founding of the parish is recorded as January 15, 1840. Early meetings were held in a room above a store where other religious denominations in the village also held services. In 1841 a simple wooden meeting house, known as "The Tabernacle," was built for use by all of the groups. The Episcopal parish erected a second building for its own services in 1843. Construction of the present third church began in 1871 and was completed in 1873. Designed by Detroit architect Gordon W. Lloyd, the Gothic Revival style church was built of limestone hauled by its members from a quarry in nearby Flushing, Michigan. The parish celebrated its Sesquicentennial anniversary in 1990.

The windows of St. Paul's Episcopal Church include many that were given as memorials to Flint's notable citizens, including its early carriage makers and automotive pioneers. Among them is the above window, "Easter Morning," given in memory of Franklin H. and Mary A. Pierce by their son and daughter-in-law John L. and Frances Pierce. The scene depicts the biblical account of Jesus, after his crucifixion, appearing to Mary Magdalene, who had come to the tomb with spices to anoint his body. It was created by the New York studio of Louis C. Tiffany, whose signature is in the lower right corner. The undated window exhibits the opalescent "Favrile glass," drapery-like surface and rich landscape background associated with stained glass work done by Tiffany's studio. Its script signature, "Louis C. Tiffany N.Y.," suggests that the window may have been created sometime between 1915 and the studio's closing in the early 1930s. The window's theme is similar to that of two other Tiffany windows in Michigan, located at the First Presbyterian Church of Flint (April 2000) and the First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids (April 2006).

Other windows in St. Paul's Episcopal Church are the work of the Willet Stained Glass Studios of Philadelphia, the Heaton, Butler & Bayne Studio of London, England, and the Montague Castle-London Company of New York City. The windows were cleaned and restored in 1998 by the Willet Studios.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Sharon Naughton, Grayce Scholt and Jane Bingham of Flint, MI.

Bibliography: Show Bibliography

(MSGC 1998.0057)

Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, April , 2007.