When we purchased the chapel in 2012, we did so with a strong sense of call to downtown Franklin. We believed then, as we do today that the corner of Church & 3rd St. was an ideal location for bearing gospel witness to the heart of Franklin. By God’s grace, that has proven to be true!
At the same time, we knew the chapel would bring with it certain challenges. For one, it’s not a new building. Many repairs and updates are needed on an ongoing basis to keep the building in good condition. Just this week we had a crew of workers doing plasterwork in the sanctuary and inside the side entrance to repair damage from a recent leak. This was not our first leak. It’s safe to say that it won’t be our last.
In addition to regular maintenance and repair needs, the building also needed a facelift when we bought it. Over the last several years we’ve made quite a few upgrades including new paint and carpet throughout the building, updating all the bathrooms, replacing some of the external and internal trim, and making minor structural changes for improved usability.
The time has come, however, for three big repairs and upgrades—a church sprinkler system as required by the Franklin Fire Marshall, a full landscaping redesign and overhaul, and the restoration of the beautiful stain glass windows.
For today, I’m going to focus on the stain glass windows, since repair is slated to begin as early as tomorrow (Monday, August 26th). Between services and Sunday School today, take time to examine the windows. It won’t take you long to spot that the steel support reinforcement bars that hold up the windows are broken on most of the exterior windows. You’ll also notice that the lead holding the panes in place is giving way. In some of the windows, you’ll even find loose, missing, and chipped glass. To maintain the integrity and beauty of the windows, it’s important that we do not put off this repair any longer.
The Finance Committee decided we would fund this project through special gifts above and beyond normal tithes and offerings. When Ruling Elder Joe Haworth mentioned this need several months back, quite of few of you answered the call by giving generously to this work. Through your gifts, we now have enough money in hand to do a total restoration of four of the stain glass windows! Since the windows facing Church Street are in the greatest need of repair, we’re going to start with those and trust the Lord to provide the resources needed to do the rest.
To do a full restoration, the windows have to be removed from the sanctuary. After removal of the windows, the openings will be sealed with plywood and a full size color rendering of the missing stained glass window will be provided on the inside in order to lessen the psychological effect of the missing windows. The restoration of the four windows will take approximately three months.
We’ve contracted with the highly recommended and reputable company, Emmanuel Stained Glass Windows in Nashville. If you want to can learn about the history, mission, and process of Emmanuel Studios, as well as see examples of completed projects, visit their website at www.emmanuelstudios.com. Next week in the Pastoral Notes, we’ll talk about the soon-in-coming church sprinkler system and landscaping plan. Stay tuned!