Symbolism of our Windows

The March 3, 1902 issue of The Shelbyville Evening Republican contained a detailed account of the previous day’s dedication of the new First Christian Church on West Washington Street, under the leadership of E. Finley Mahan, Minister.


The paper reported, “the large windows are no doubt the prettiest in this part of the state”.


The north window depicts a descending dove with an olive sprig in its beak.  A traditional symbol of the ark, peace and forgiveness.  The same descending dove, without the olive sprig, refers to the Holy Spirit’s decent at the time of Christ’s baptism.  This may be what is implied here, since there is a star above which could refer to Christ.


The Last Supper is commemorated in the grapes and wheat, representing the blood and body of Christ.


The east window reproduces Hoffman’s “Christ in Gethsemane”.  The cross and crown symbolize the suffering and sovereignty of Christ.  The anchor reminds us that if we are anchored in Christ, the sufferings of life will not destroy us.  


The south window shows an open Holy Bible.  The Alpha and Omega tell us that Christ is indeed the beginning and the ending.


The west window recreates Plockhorst’s, “The Good Shepherd”.  Also shown here are the “wreath of distinction” with the star of Bethlehem, signifying that Christ is one of a kind.  The only son of God.  The lily says that Christ conquered death for all who believe in Him.


There are 23 smaller windows in the west section of the building.  Featuring the Fleur-de-Lis, a traditional symbol for the Holy Trinity.


All the windows feature opalescent stained glass, with plain and beveled colored or clear glass sections.