Thought to be 103 years old and appraised at $56,000... Stained Glass dedicated in new Forney home

THE BEAUTIFUL STAINED GLASS WINDOW that adorned the front of the old First Presbyterian Church of Teague has been completely restored and installed in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Forney. The work of art left an impression in the hearts and minds of many Teague residents who attend the church and will continue to do so as it looks to serve the citizens of Forney for many more years to come.

On Sunday March 26, 2017, at a special evening service to install the Rev. David Ivie as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Forney, the stained glass from First Presbyterian Church of Teague was dedicated to the glory of God.

The special service began at 4:00 PM and was conducted by a 7-member commission of Grace Presbytery. After?Rev. Ivie was duly installed as Pastor, he invited the congregation to dedicate to God the work of art from Teague. Former Pastor Rev. Kathy Collier, now retired and living in Corsicana, read John 20:11-18, the scriptural basis for the scene depicted in the stained glass where Jesus greets Mary at the empty tomb, calls her by name, and charges her to go and tell others she has ?seen the Lord.? Then Rev. Collier told the story of how the stained glass serendipitously came to Forney through the work of Jo Nita Cannon of the Teague Historical Preservation Society and Terry Cunningham of Cunningham Construction?(Hillsboro),?who felt the stained glass should be donated rather than sold for profit. A connection was made through Grace Presbytery and Mr. Cunningham moved the piece to Forney for $400 in February 2012; it?remained in storage until August 2016 when work began.

After Rev. Collier?s comments,?ruling elder Don DeJong of FPC Forney led the gathered in?a Litany of Dedication and Prayer.

Of the 97 people attending, special guests were?Margie Davis Pate,?her sister Susan?Davis Lancaster, and Mr. & Mrs. Carl Dean?Shields who had grown up in the Teague Presbyterian church.?Ms. Pate?said they were ?pleasantly overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and gratitude shown for the stained glass?. Attending the service allowed them to turn what was a?bittersweet moment?of leaving the church in 2003 to an assurance?that now the beloved stained glass is?in the right place and will be treasured and well-maintained for years to come.

The restoration was completed by Willet Hauser Architectural Glass Company of?Winona, Minnesota. Project Manager was Reed Oliver, who said there was ?something special? about this piece and it became ?more than a project? for him. Several pieces were badly damaged, and parts had to be painted by hand. Restorers?were able to keep the original wood frame, but it had to be painted to hide sections which needed substantial repairs. The Teague church was constructed in 1914, so it is thought that the stained glass is now 103 years old. It is appraised at $56,000 for replacement. In the Teague church, the work of art was used as a window in the front of the building and was thus exposed to weather. In Forney, the glass is completely protected, installed on the inside wall of the sanctuary. Unfortunately it is no longer visible from the outside, yet it is the now the centerpiece in the church?s worship, directly behind the communion table and pulpit. It is backlit with a?12 strands of LED lights.

Rev. Ivie said, ?I am proud that my first act as pastor of this church was to invite all those gathered that evening to take account of the miracle that God has done through this stained glass and to give thanks that the Risen Christ continues to lovingly draw people to worship?in the beauty of holiness.?

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