Stained Glass Restoration for Historic Church in Tulsa

stained glass restoration tulsa ame church

Stained Glass Restoration for Historic Church in Tulsa

At Custom Stained Glass Houston, we’ve had the opportunity over the years to complete work for many different types of buildings. Some of our most rewarding projects have been restorations for churches. Churches do so much for the community and its always an honor to be able to give back to these wonderful institutions and the kind-hearted members of their congregation.

Just recently, we were given the opportunity to be part of a particularly unique restoration project for a historic church located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Vernon A.M.E. Church is a historic site in a predominantly African American neighborhood that once housed several members of the community in its basement during a violent riot in the year 1921, also known as the Tulsa 1921 Race Massacre. Their stained glass windows were in need of repair and our team of experts were called in to assist.

About the Vernon A.M.E. Church

The Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church is more than just a church. It is a vital part of the community’s livelihood and identity, and plays an important role in its past, present, and history. Not only did it save several members of the community from the terrible violence that took place in June of 1921, but it also continues to provide support today to residents in need. Each day, the church hands out meals to individuals who are homeless and down on their luck.

Restoring the Historic Church Stained Glass

The stained glass windows were added to the Vernon A.M.E. Church after the race riot. Much of the church had been destroyed and needed to be rebuilt. The community used their own money to finance the construction. It was during this time that the beautiful stained glass windows were added.

Unfortunately, not much was done to protect the windows from the elements. Less was known about stained glass that is now known today. The windows suffered damage from exposure to the elements and were in need of repair. Upon examination, we discovered that about 700 of the 5,000 pieces of glass would need to be replaced. Total, there were 130 panels that needed to be restored.

We brought in our top experts to handle the job. A stained glass manufacturer was hired to develop a formula for and produce replacement pieces. A local mill company was hired by the church to create new wooden window frames. Everyone worked together.

While the new glass was being manufactured, we set to work restoring as many of the windows as we could with the original glass. Then, when the new glass arrived, we finished the repairs. When all of the panels were finished, we installed them into the new window frames along with a protective covering to keep them from being exposed to the elements. All of this we were able to complete in six months time.

tulsa ame church memorial stained glass
Memorial Stained Glass Window for the Vernon A.M.E. Church in Tulsa, OK

The Church Was Overjoyed with the Results

The members of the church were so happy to see that their beautiful stained glass windows had been saved. They looked even more beautiful than ever before. A brand new memorial window was added to honor the church’s actions during the 1921 massacre. This we produced and gave to the church as a gift at no cost.

The pastor of the church as especially pleased with the results. In fact, he was so happy that he actually kissed the stained glass! This was something that we had never seen before! We were thrilled that the pastor and the church were so happy.

photo credit: Tulsa World

Get More Information

For more information on this project or our stained glass restoration services, please contact our office.

Martin Faith is a celebrated stained glass artisan from Glasgow, Scotland. In 1991, Martin moved from Scotland to the United States and brought with him his personal collection of antique glass. After opening his own studio, he began selling items from his collection and also creating new custom stained and leaded glass windows for customers in the Houston area. Today, Custom Stained Glass Houston is one of the largest and most successful studios of its kind, specializing in stained glass repair, church stained glass restoration, and residential privacy glass. Over the past thirty years, over 50,000 windows have been produced and sold for over 12,000 customers. The company has been highlighted on top media outlets such as HGTV, the DIY Network, CBS, and NBC and has earned national recognition.

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