Centenary United Methodist Church 646 W. Fifth Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Memorial Windows esiding within Centenary Church is a valuable legacy of religious art in the R architectural detail, the stained glass and the needlework. This booklet is designed to make the art and symbolism more meaningful to each of us. The stone, wood, glass
and fabric of our church are unspoken witnesses to the Christian faith. They serve as inspirational teachers in the present, and will stand as guides to future generations who seek out this sanctuary and congregation of believers within which to formulate their belief and come into communion with the God of all generations. Symbolism has played an important part in proclaiming the Christian faith through the centuries. The word symbol comes from the Greek meaning “To throw together.” A symbol joins an abstract idea with a visible representation. It is not a replica like a photograph. It points to a meaning beyond itself — suggesting a concept difficult, if not impossible, to explain adquately within the limitation of words. In the early Christian Church, symbols were used as a means of communicating the faith. The New Testament as we know it was non-existent. Furthermore, those who could read the existing scriptures were few. During times of persecution, symbols such as the fish were used as a secret language. Symbols are indeed a language. As we learn that language, symbols become a more effective source of spiritual inspiration and stimulate our silent meditation. The symbols of Centenary are silent sentinels, recalling the rich heritage of our faith, leading us into moments of worship, and helping us experience its contemporary vitality.
Written by Martha Brown Images Courtesy of Rick Gibbons
Growth and Majesty of the Christian Faith The progression of this window is from the middle of the lowest section upward and outward. Few people see the nativity scene when first viewing this window: just as few people were aware of what was taking place on the first Christmas night. Mary and the baby are guarded by two of the heavenly hosts. At Mary’s feet is a lamb to foretell Jesus’ being the sacrificial Lamb of God. Above Mary’s head is a six pointed star, the Star of Creation or the Star of David. Joseph was of the house of David, and the Messiah was expected to be a king of the magnitude and nature of King David. From the birth of Jesus, move upward to the depiction of the Last Supper. The details of the table setting are notable. Jesus’ cup, larger than the disciples’, is the chalice. Eleven disciples are visible. James and John are on Jesus’ right and left. Jesus’ hand is raised in blessing. Judas is not altogether missing. He has dropped the purse containing the thirty pieces of silver and his foot can be seen as he flees the room. Jesus’ words, “This do in remembrance of me.” (I Cor. 11:24) appear above his head along with a branched grape vine. “I am the true vine.” (Jn. 15:1). Above the vine are two symbolic birds. The Pelican-in-her-Piety (left) is a Christian symbol of the atonement. Because the pelican allows her young to reach into her mouth to feed from the pouch beneath the lower half of her beak, the fable arose that during times when food was scarce, the pelican tore a hole in her breast and fed her young with her blood. There is a parallel in Christ’s sacrificial death and the communion symbols of the broken body and blood. The Phoenix (right), a legendary bird signifying the resurrection, stems from the ancient fable about a strange bird that came up from the ashes of the fire in which it had been burned and was, therefore, regarded as an emblem of resurrection. Above the birds, on left and right, are the angels of death and life — sorrow and joy. The emerald rainbow is a symbol of God’s covenant with man. Following the flood, the rainbow was the sign of God’s covenant promise to Noah — the first covenant (Gen. 9). So the rainbow appears also as a symbol of the New Covenant sealed by Christ. Jesus promised: “I will not leave you comfortless.” (Jn. 14:18). The descending dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit among us. The dove holds the shell in its beak, the symbol of baptism as initiation into the faith. The flames are also a symbol of the Spirit. The four gospel writers depicted on the rainbow show the means by which the Word was recorded and passed from generation to generation. Each writer is symbolized by his special emphasis: the winged lion (the kingly nature) represents St. Mark; the winged bull (the sacrificial nature) represents St. Luke; the winged man (the human nature) represents St. Matthew; and the eagle (the spiritual nature) represents St. John. The next progression upward show the heavenly Lord of Lords and King of Kings. The nail holes are still visible in the feet of Jesus, but he wears a kingly crown, and in his hand the cross now appears as a scepter, and the orb is topped with a cross. The orb is symbolic of kingly power and justice, and the scepter is the emblem of authority. Paradoxically, his sign of authority is the cross, the world’s sign of submission, defeat and death. The red of his robe and the seraphs’ robes symbolizes blood, fire, zeal, and therefore the power of the ministry of the Church. The “A” (alpha) and “Ω” (omega) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signifying that Christ’s reign is from the beginning to the end of time. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Rev. 22:13). Extending beyond the rayed nimbus (halo) around his head are the arms of a larger cross (red), the foot of which extends below the descending dove. The quote “Holy, Holy” above his head with the heralds trumpeting is a heavenly Hallelujah Chorus. The very top of the window reveals the heavens twinkling with starry hosts, encompassing the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem.
Christ’s Nativity Top Center Medallion: The Creative Hand of God — God’s Power of creation is symbolized by the hand outstretched toward earth. The three rays and the nimbus (halo) indicate divinity. God’s hand is here shown in the position of blessing. Flames representing the spirit emanate from the hand. At the top of each flame is a rose. The rose symbolizes Isaiah’s prophesy of the coming of Christ: “The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as a rose.” (Is. 35:1). Ribbon Quote: “In the beginning was the word and the word was made flesh.” (Jn. 1:1). Upper Left Medallion: Annunciation — “And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’” (Lk. 1:28). The dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit is above Mary with rays descending to her. The angel holds madonna lilies also called annunciation lilies. The lily signifies the virginity of Mary as well as purity and innocence. Mary kneels at an altar upon which lies an open book. These details symbolize her religious nature and knowledge of the prophetic scriptures. Upper Right Medallion: Mary visits Elizabeth — Mary shares her news of the expected birth of Jesus with her cousin Elizabeth who is soon to be the mother of John the Baptist. A vision of the expected child appears over the heads of Mary and Elizabeth. To the right of Elizabeth appears a young plant symbolizing Isaiah’s prophecy: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.” (Is. 53:2). Upper Center: The Nativity — “And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:16). The Star of Bethlehem hangs over the manger. An even brighter source of light in this scene, however, emanates from Jesus, a symbol that the baby is the Light of the World. The cow and donkey are visible in the stable. The lamb, a reminder that Jesus would become the sacrificial Lamb of God, stands before the manger. Two of the three shepherds carry crooks, and one is pictured with a basket of fruit. Quote: “On earth peace to men of good will.” (Lk. 2:14). Center Left Medallion: Jesus and Simeon — When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple for dedication, Simeon recognized him as the Messiah saying, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people: A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Lk. 2:29-32). Center Right Medallion: Domestic Life — “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.” (Lk. 2:40). Mary is shown instructing Jesus from the book of Exodus. Joseph is using a plane at his carpenter’s bench. The palm tree and thatched roof are indigenous to the time and place of Jesus’ youth. Lower Center: The Boy Jesus in the Temple — “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” (Lk. 2:46). Details of the temple include the temple light, the drapes, the columns, and the container of scrolls. Mary and Joseph are in the background. They are returning to the temple in search of Jesus. Quote “I must be about my father’s business.” (Lk. 2:49). Lower Left Medallion: Fish of Baptism — The Greek initials of the phrase, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour,” spell ichthus, the Greek word for “fish.” The symbol was linked with baptism because the fish found its life within the water. Baptism marks the beginning of a new spiritual life, anointing the baptized with water. Three fish forming a triangle, symbolizing the trinity, signify that Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19). 6
Lower Right Medallion: Seven Flames of the Spirit — At the time of
Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was symbolized as flames. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And there appeared to them tongues as of fire...â&#x20AC;? (Acts 2:3). Fire has the properties of both warmth and purification. The number seven represents perfection. It is the total of three (representing the three natures of God in the trinity) and four (representing the four corners of the universe). With heaven and earth combined, seven symbolizes perfection, the total creation.
Christ’s Ministry Top Center Medallion: The dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit sets the tone of the ministry of Jesus. “... and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove...” (Lk. 3:22). The dove with the tri-radiant nimbus is one of the earliest forms used to represent the Holy Spirit. Proceeding from the central figure of the dove are seven rays, each tipped with a smaller dove. Seven is the perfect number and is associated with the seven gifts of the spirit. Ribbon Quote: “The Time is Fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is at Hand” (Mk. 1:14). Upper Left Medallion: Jesus is seen rising from the River Jordan having been baptized by John the Baptist who is kneeling. John’s staff is in the shape of a cross. His clothes are the rough wear typical of his desert ministry. On the ground is a shell, another symbol of baptism since it symbolizes life born in water. The Holy Spirit is symbolized descending upon Jesus. Behind Jesus is the simplified fish form, the vesica. This shape is the same form that dominates the chancel window and the kneeling cushions. The baptism marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Upper Right Medallion: Calling the Disciples. The brothers Peter and Andrew were the first disciples. They are seen in their fishing boat: “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’” (Matt. 41:19). Again there is the connection of Jesus’ ministry with water and fish. The rising sun in the left symbolizes the new beginnings: a new ministry, a new calling, a new kingdom, a new way of life. Jerusalem is pictured on the right. Upper Center: The Sermon on the Mount represents the body of Jesus’ teachings. Notice the variety of people gathered and the crowd seen coming up the mountain. At his feet are the “lilies of the field.” Quoted is one of the beautitudes: “Blessed are the pure in heart.” (Matt. 5:8). Jerusalem is in the background. The trees are the cedars of Lebanon. Middle Left Medallion: The first miracle — Jesus changed the water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. “This, the first of his signs...” (Jn. 2:11). The bride, groom and parents are at the table. A servant is pouring wine into an urn. Middle Right Medallion: The first parable — the sower. “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” (Lk. 8:11). Items from the parable are visible: the sower, the path, the birds, the rocky ground, the thorns and the tares, the sun and the one healthy plant from the good soil. Lower Center: The Transfiguration symbolized the imminent end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The appearance of Moses and Elijah represents the Law and the Prophets as they were fulfilled and superseded in Jesus. Moses was the mediator of the old covenant. Notice the tablets with the commandments. Jesus was the mediator of the new covenant. Elijah was expected to reappear as a forerunner of the Messiah. The disciples, Peter and John and James, were with him at the Transfiguration and at Gethesemane (Lk. 9:28-30). At both places they were heavy with sleep. Quote: “This is my beloved Son. Hear Him.” (Mk. 9:7). Lower Left Medallion and Lower Right Medallion: The shaft of wheat and the cluster of grapes are symbols of the bread and wine. They represent the body and blood at the Last Supper, the inauguration of Holy Communion. At the close of his earthly ministry, Jesus shared with the disciples a common meal as a token of their sharing the continuation of his ministry.
Christ’s Crucifixion Upper Medallion: The Sacrificial Lamb. The lamb, with its head surrounded by a three-rayed nimbus, signifies that this is not an ordinary lamb, but the Lamb of God. Even as lambs were sacrificed, Christ was a sacrificial lamb. Ribbon Quote: “In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” (Jn. 1:4). Upper Left Medallion: Jesus and the Vine. At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” The juice of the vine symbolizes the blood of the new covenant of forgiveness made possible through the crucifixtion. Upper Right Medallion: Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus’ Prayer: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39). The angel holding the cup is visible. The night sky with stars and moon is pictured in the background. Upper Center: Before Pilate. “And Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’” (Lk. 23”3). The Roman soldier holds the Roman staff with the initials S.P.Q.R. (The Senate and the people of Rome). Although similar in shape, this symbol of Roman authority stands in contrast to the cross of Christ. The Roman wreath of leaves around Pilate’s head is contrasted to the crown of thorns to be placed on Jesus’ head. A scribe is seen recording the proceedings of the trial on a scroll. Other scrolls are in a container at his side. Jesus’ hands are bound together. Quote: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Left Center Medallion: Jesus Mocked as King of the Jews. “And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.” (Mk. 15:17). Jesus is seated on a mock throne with a crown of thorns. For his scepter, he holds palm branches. Chains are visible on the column behind him. One soldier seems to be deriding Jesus. A second soldier, with his back turned, is holding a scourge. Right Center Medallion: Jesus Carrying the Cross. “And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.” (Lk. 23:27). The River Jordan and Jerusalem are seen in the background. Lower Center: The Crucifixion. “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier, ... but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (Jn. 19:23, 25). Mary Magdalene’s hair is thrown over her head as she weeps, as it might have been when she washed Jesus’ feet with her hair. The nails of the crucifixion are visible. The second cross is clearly visible. The theif appears tied, rather than nailed, to the cross. The third cross is only partly visible on the left edge of the medallion. On the cross above Jesus’ head is the sign INRI, initials standing for the Latin words Jesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews). In the background is a stormy sky. With the Marys is John, the “beloved disciple,” whom Jesus addressed from the cross. Jerusalem is in the background. Quote: “Is it nothing to all Ye who pass by?” (Lam. 1:12). Lower Left Medallion: Symbols of the Crucifixion. Money bag: Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Hammer, Nails, and Ladder: All were used in securing Jesus to the cross. Three nails: One for each hand and one for the crossed feet. Scourge: A whip of knotted leather thongs attached to a handle. Lower Right Medallion: Symbols of the Post-Crucifixion. Pincers: A symbol of the removal of Christ’s body from the corss. Seamless robe and dice: The Roman soldiers cast lots or dice for the possession of Jesus’ seamless robe. Reed and sponge: A sponge dipped in vinegar was lifted to Jesus’ lips. Spear: The Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus after His death. The Shroud: The bearded face of Jesus appears wrapped in the burial shroud.
Christ’s Resurrection Top Center Medallion: The peacock symbolizes resurrection because, after the peacock molts, he grows new feathers, more brilliant than those he lost. Ribbon Quote: “In sure and certain hope of the life of eternal resurrection.” Upper Left Medallion: Descent from the Cross — Mary and the disciples lower the body of Jesus from the cross. The ladder and part of the cross are visible. Upper Right Medallion: Entombment — “Now there was a man named Joseph in the Jewish town of Arimathea... This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud, and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb, where no one had ever been laid.” (Lk. 23:50-53). Upper Center: Easter Morning — The three Marys at the tomb. Mary Magdalene is recognizable by her long loose hair. Tradition identifies her as the woman who earlier washed the feet of Jesus. An angel sits on the empty tomb with upward pointing finger indicating that Christ has risen. The rock cave used as a tomb is visible. Jerusalem is seen in the distance with the Eastern sun rising behind it — a new day, a new covenant, a new understanding of God’s love. The green plant at the front of the tomb symbolizes hope and new life. Quote: “He is not here; He is risen as He said.” (Matt. 28:6). Left Center Medallion: Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’. She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.’” (Jn. 20:16,17). Jerusalem is seen again with the rising sun behind it. Right Center Medallion: The Charge to Peter — Jesus appears to Peter, John and other disciples who had returned to fishing on the Sea of Tiberias. The fishing boat and sail are pictured. Sheep are in the fields. Jerusalem is in the background. On this occasion the Lord charged Peter to “Feed my sheep” and “Follow me” (Jn. 21). Lower Center: The Ascension — “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven.” (Mk. 16:19). To symbolize the ascension, only the pierced feet and hem of Jesus’ robe are visible. The footprints symbolize that the body has risen, but Jesus has “left his mark” on earth. It appears there are only nine disciples in this scene. A careful viewing shows the tops of two halos behind the group of disciples on the right. Judas was not present. Quote: “Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20). Lower Left Medallion: Crown and Palms of Victory — The crown is a symbol of the kingly office of Christ. “... for he is Lord of lords and King of kings...” (Rev. 17:14). The palm branch is a symbol of victory. Palms were the prize awarded the winners of ancient contests of strength and skill. Seen in relation to his death, the crown and palms proclaim that God’s Kingdom is not defeated by man’s action. The defeat of death was overcome by the victory of eternal life. Lower Right Medallion: Greek monograms and Cross — “IC” is a shortened form of the Greek spelling of Jesus. “XC” is a shortened form of the Greek spelling of Christ. “NIKA” means Victor. Thus, Jesus Christ is victor over life and death. Each arm of the fleurie cross has three petals symbolizing the Trinity. The sharp points at the end of each arm of the cross signify suffering.
Baptism Window The events portrayed in this window precede Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptist is the central figure. He prophesied the Messiah’s coming and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. John can be recognized by his rough clothing, his coat of camel’s hair. The River Jordan is visible. The Holy Spirit is symbolized by the dove. The flames also symbolize the Spirit. The shape of John’s staff foretells the cross of Christ. The shell on the staff signifies water as a source of life — both physical and spiritual life through baptism. The quote is from Matt. 3:11. “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” At the top of the window we see the symbol of Christ as the Lamb of God. Standing, he is in a triumphant posture. A cross may be seen behind him. The cross and the sacrifice are one. Upper Left Medallion: A man between two temple pillars holds a scroll. Malachi prophesied the coming of John the Baptist: “I send my messenger to prepare the way before me” (Mal. 3:1). John’s father, Zechariah, also quotes Malachi at the time of John’s birth (Cf. Mal. 4:5,6 and Luke 1:17). Upper Right Medallion: Zechariah, the father of John, was a temple priest and was on duty in the temple when an angel appeared to him telling of the upcoming birth of John. Lower Left Medallion: A man is seated at a desk writing. He wears a skull cap. A temple lamp is burning over his head. Another man stands before him. Could this represent the education of John in preperation for his prophetic ministry? Lower Right Medallion: John is seen with hands tied behind his back as a prisoner before Herod. His executioner is visible holding the sword. The female figure is either Herodias, Herod’s illegal wife, or her daughter Salome who danced for the king. Extreme Lower Left and Right Corners: Stork and Hippopotamus (Behemoth). Both of these animals are referred to in the Old Testament. The bird breaches the gap of earth to heaven. The hippopotamus, though earth bound, has great strength. Both find their life within the water. Since this window’s theme is baptism, and the life of the Spirit coming through the water of baptism, it is appropriate to have water animals as symbols of spirit and strength. 11
The Gospel Writers This pair of windows shows each of the four gospel writers represented in three ways: in human form, by a symbol of each writer’s particular emphasis in his gospel, and by an angel whose name reflects the writer’s perspective of Jesus’ life. The Greek word for angel means “messenger of God.” Therefore, the association of the angels with the gospel writers is understandable because it is the writers who bring us the message of Jesus. East Side: Matthew and Mark are pictured writing their gospel accounts. In the smaller central medallions Matthew is the winged man because he deals with Jesus’ genealogy and his humanness. Mark is the winged lion because of the emphasis on the kingly office of Christ. The angel’s name Gabriel means “man of God.” Therefore, Gabriel corresponds with Matthew and the human qualities of Jesus. The name Michael means “like God” and corresponds with Mark’s account of the kingly attributes of Jesus as the Christ.
West Side: The west window depicts the gospel writers Luke and John. In the smaller medallions, Luke is symbolized by the winged calf because of his emphasis upon the sacrificial nature of Christ. John’s symbol is the winged eagle. He stresses the divine nature of Christ. The angels corresponding to Luke and John are Raphael and Uriel. Raphael means “the divine healer,” and Luke was not only a gospel writer but also a physician. Uriel means “fire of God.” Since John writes about the spiritual qualities of Jesus, it is fitting that he is symbolized by the sign of the spirit, fire, as well as the eagle who soars to great heights.
Missionary Window The events in this window cover a span of time from Christ’s commissioning his first disciples to the modern disciples. The theme of the window is the missionary thrust of the Christian faith. The central picture shows Christ giving the Great Commission to the disciples: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Note that only eleven disciples are pictured. Judas had betrayed Christ and was no longer with the group. Above the head of Christ is seen a cross, the Latin cross, the central symbol of the message to be spread. Three rays descend from the cross, three representing the Trinity. The expanding rays suggest the spread of the gospel message throughout the world. The sun on the horizon symbolizes the dawning of a new era, a new testament. Extreme Top of Window: The four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are symbolized by the nature of their gospels. Each figure has wings folded down. Red is used as a symbol of zeal, growth, and the mission of the church. Upper Left Medallion: John Wesley is pictured stepping off a ship in Georiga as he arrived in America to be a missionary. Upper Right Medallion: David Livingstone is pictured carrying the missionary effort to Africa. His emphasis on medical care would suggest the traditional importance of medical missions accompanying evangelical missions. Lower Left Medallion: Frances Willard, a pioneer in education, women’s rights and temperance symbolizes the role of women in mission work and the importance of educational work among missions. Lower Right Medallion: John R. Mott, an international religious leader, championed missionary efforts that transcended denominational lines. He was secretary of the International Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association and founded the World’s Student Christian Federation. He was the 1946 winner of the Nobel peace prize. It is significant that the Christian Story told in the windows does not end with the Biblical account, but includes modern-day saints through whom God continues to speak.
John Wesley Preaching From A Market Cross John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church, is shown here preaching from a market cross (a stone cross frequently seen at the square in English villages). He said, “I look upon all the world as my parish.” He also said, “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” His last words were, “The best of all is, God is with us.” The Four Symbols (in the corners) represent the four evangelists. Left to right: the angelMatthew, the bull-Luke, the lion-Mark, and the eagle-John.
Francis Asbury As A Circuit Riding Methodist Preacher Francis Asbury, sent to America from England in October, 1771, by John Wesley, became the second bishop of the Methodist Church. The greatest of the “circuit riders,” he rode on horseback or carriage 270,000 miles and preached 16,000 times. He crossed and recrossed the uncharted Appalachians more than sixty times. Bishop Asbury had neither home, boarding place, nor address save “America.” Details: log house, barefoot boy, flowers, and horse. Top Left: The Book (verbum Dei) The word of God. Top Right: The Fountain of Life — “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death” (Prov. 13:14). Lower Left: The Olive Branch is a symbol of peace, concord, and healing. Lower Right: The Pilgrim Staff and Shell. “He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff...” (Mk. 6:8). The staff on the pilgrim’s journey is also the cross, the foundation of the faith. The pilgrim leans on both his staff and the cross for strength on his mission. The shell is the symbol of baptism. The last command Jesus gave his desciples was “Go therefore and make disciples of all nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
The Builders Window This window depicts the spiritual, historic, and modern builders of Centenary Church. The resurrected Lord is the Head of the church. He is seen here revealing his human nature in his pierced hands and feet, and his divine nature in the kingly purple robes and crown. In his hand are the scriptures — the Word of God (verbum Dei). From around him emanate rays indicating the Holy Spirit. Behind him is the cross (red). He is depicted in this window much as he is seen in the north balcony window. To the right and left of Christ are suggestions of a building, the House of God, the Church. On Christ’s right is St. Peter to whom Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom. Peter was considered the leader of the apostolic church. Fittingly, this lancet of the window honors James G. Hanes, who was chairman of the building committee. On Christ’s left is St. Luke who recorded the story of the apostolic church in the Book of Acts. This lancet honors Edgar R. Clapp, who was secretary-treasurer of the building committee. To the sides of Christ’s feet are John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church and Bishop M. Dubose, the Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference during the building of the church. West End Church (left) and old Centenary (right) at the bottom of this window, united to build the present Centenary (center). The two churches united in 1927. The opening services in this church were held September 20, 1931. Dr. Charles C. Weaver was pastor of the “new” Centenary. The church was dedicated October 19, 1941. 17
Chancel Window The chancel window does not include obvious symbols and pictures as the other windows do, but close observation will reveal forms repeated. One form is a simplified symbol of the fish, representing Jesus. The Greek word for fish is ichthus. These letters form the initial letters for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” Perhaps the subtlety of this symbol can remind us of Jesus’ words “He who has eyes to see, let him see.” The fish form or vesica, is intricately combined with the circle and the square. The circle, without beginning or end, is a symbol of the everlasting presence. The square represents the four corners of the globe and/or the four gospel writers. These symbols are repeated in the kneeling cushions. The colors in all the windows are not only beautiful but also have meaning and should be considered for their symbolic use: white — peace, purity, perfection; blue — heavenly truth, sanctification; red — divine zeal, creative fire, sacrificial blood; purple — dignity, royalty, mourning; green — eternal youth, growth, hope; gold — worth, virtue, glory of God; yellow — truthfulness, beneficence; black — penitence, death; violet — humility, suffering.
A Guide to the Windows 1.Christ’s Nativity In memory of Madison D. Stockton, 1861-1945 and Martha Vaughn Stockton, 1864-1942 2.Christ’s Ministry In memory of Sihon Cicero Ogburn, 1873-1948 and Emma Kapp Ogburn, 1875-1946 3.Christ’s Crucifixion In memory of John Wesley Hanes, 1850-1903 and Anna Hodgin Hanes, 1858-1947 4.Christ’s Resurrection In memory of John Wesley Alspaugh, 1828-1912 and Celeste Tucker Alspaugh, 1843-1908 5.John Wesley Left lancet in memory of Charles Dewitt Cromer, 1874-1942 and Carrie Crutchfield Cromer, 18791953, Right lancet in memory of Mary S. Ferrell, 1862-1952 6.Francis Asbury Left lancet in memory of Robert Baker Crawford, 1874-1943, Right lancet in memory of Leonard Anderson Vaughn, 1857-1948 and Laura Candler Vaughn, 1864-1924 7.Builder’s Window Left lancet honors James G . Hanes, 1886-1972 Right lancet honors Edgar R. Clapp, 1884-1962 Center lancet in memory of Charles C. Weaver, 1875-1946 8.Chancel Window 9.The Growth and Majesty of the Christian Faith Left and center panel in memory of James Alexander Gray, 1846-1918 and Aurelia Bowman Gray, 1848-1914 Right panel in memory of Bess Gray Plumly, 1879-1963 10.Gospel Writers In memory of Bunyan Snipes Womble, 1882-1976 and Edith Willingham Womble, 1890-1980 11.Gospel Writers In memory of the Reverend Fletcher Womble, 18591929 and Olivia Snipes Womble, 1860-1948 12.John the Baptist In memory of Charles Gideon Hill, 1878-1930 13.The Church in Mission In memory of James Alexander Gray, 1889-1952
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