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Featured Windows, June-July 2011

Hastings First United Methodist Church

Building: Hastings First United Methodist Church

City: Hastings

State: Michigan

Hastings First United Methodist Church. Built 1910-1911. William E. N. Hunter, architect.

Hastings First United Methodist Church was organized in 1841 under the name of Hastings Methodist Episcopal Church. Its third and present home was designed by Detroit architect William E. N. Hunter (1858-1947) and constructed in 1910-1911 by Spence Brothers of Saginaw. The red brick building is notable for its 40-foot high dome surmounting an octagonal drum and for its quarter-circle “Akron-plan” auditorium. An educational wing was added in 1961. The building’s original windows by an unknown maker include two 12-foot-diameter opalescent glass skylights. Its twelve stained glass memorial windows, installed in 1947 and 1948, were created by the Grand Rapids Art Glass Company, which existed from 1912 to 1994. Based on familiar paintings, the windows depict scenes in the life of Christ. During its 82 years of operation, the Grand Rapids studio provided windows for many churches in western Michigan, including chapel windows for St. Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids. The windows of Hastings First United Methodist Church were restored in 1992 by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass of Winona, MN.

Left: “Christ and the Doctors” depicts the boy Jesus speaking with scholars in the temple at Jerusalem, as related in the book of Luke. Right: “The Last Supper” represents the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples, as told in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Left: “The Good Samaritan” illustrates one of the parables told by Jesus, as recorded in the book of Luke. Right: “Mary at the Tomb” portrays Mary Magdalene weeping at Jesus’s tomb, as related in the book of John.

In this 1940s photo from The Grand Rapids Press, representatives of the Grand Rapids Art Glass Company display some of their work at a local bank during an exhibition of the city’s industries. Pictured are artist Charles Owen and owners John Elferdink, Benjamin Dykhuis, Otto Rinner and Thaddeus Malsheski. Among later employees were John VanderBurgh and Tom Blackburn, who eventually opened their own studios.

Hastings First United Methodist Church was photographed and registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Richard V. Weller of Hastings, MI. Ryan Quick assisted with the photography. (MSGC 11.0005).

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(MSGC 2011.0005)

Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, June , 2011.