Our Stained Glass
For centuries churches and cathedrals throughout the world have pictured the message of God in stained glass. The worship center of First Baptist Church is enriched by thirteen beautiful stained glass windows featuring personalities and themes from the Bible.
The Building Committee envisioned Old Testament themes on the east side of the building and New Testament themes on the west side. The baptistry window pictures the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
The side windows are five feet wide and twenty-five feet high. The baptistry window is six feet wide and eighteen feet high. They are made of one inch thick faceted glass and netted together with a gray epoxy compound.
Mr. Ron Estep, an outstanding artist of Waco, Texas, took the Old and New Testament themes and designed the windows with the assistance of Mr. Berle Smith, Interior Designer of Jackson, Mississippi. The artists' designs were effectively translated into glass and installed by L. L. Sams & Sons Stained Glass Studio, Waco, Texas.
This segment of the website has been prepared in the hope that those viewing the windows will not only have a greater appreciation of their beauty, but also a better understanding of the biblical truths symbolized.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to launch the photo gallery of our stained glass windows.
THE CREATION - window 1 (east side)
The colorful scene represents the creation of the world by God. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2)
There were six "days" in the creation process: (Genesis 1:3-31)
Day One: Light was created and divided from darkness.
Day Two: The firmament or atmosphere surrounding the earth was made.
Day Three: Water and land were separated and the earth was covered with vegetation.
Day Four: The sun, moon, and stars were made to give light upon the earth.
Day Five: Marine life and winged fowl were created.
Day Six: Land animals and man were created.
Top Symbol: The hand of God in creation.
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC - window 2 (east side)
Abraham is regarded as the founder and father of the Hebrew people. In calling Abraham to be the head of a new race, God had a specific purpose. They were to receive special revelations from God and pass them on to others. "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3)
The scene pictured in the window shows the sacrifice of Isaac, the son of Abraham, and the angel holding back Abraham's hand Nowhere is there to be found a more touching story than the account of the aged father's struggle between obedience to God and love for his son. The great man of God proved his faith, his beloved son was spared and God renewed his covenant promises to him. (Genesis 22:1-19)
Top Symbol: A small stack of wood for the burnt offering and the things necessary for building a fire. (Genesis 22:3)
MOSES - window 3 (east side)
Moses was the great Hebrew statesman, lawgiver, and leader who led the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. He was the son of Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi. He had an older sister named Miriam and an older brother named Aaron. Moses' career falls into three periods of 40 years each. The first was the years of training and preparation in Egypt. The second period was spent in the land of Midian, and was a time of preparation. The third was the period of actual accomplishment of his task.
In the third month after the Exodus, while the Israelites were camped in the Sinai Wilderness, Moses went up to a high peak of the mountain and was met by God. There Moses received two tablets of stone on which were written the Ten Commandments, the basis of all moral law. (Exodus 20:1-17)
Most scholars agree that Moses was the greatest man in Hebrew history. More than any other man, he deserves the credit for molding and leading the Hebrew people into a nation.
Top Symbol: The burning bush which was not consumed, was associated with God's call of Moses. (Exodus 3: 1-10)
RUTH AND NAOMI - window 4 (east side)
Elimelech and his wife Naomi and their two sons lived in the vicinity of Bethlehem. During a famine, they moved to Moab where the two sons married Moabite girls, Ruth and Orpah.
Elimelech and the two sons died in Moab, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law in Moab. Naomi decided to return to her old home and Ruth expressed her desire to accompany her mother-in-law. "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (Ruth 1:16ff)
Arriving at the old home, Ruth found work gleaning in the fields of Boaz. Later Ruth and Boaz were married. They had a baby boy named Obed, who became the father to Jesse who was father to David the king of Israel. Since Jesus was of the line of David, Ruth was an ancestress of Jesus Christ.
Top Symbol: The wheat or barley represents the fact that Ruth gleaned wheat from the fields of Boaz near Bethlehem. (Ruth 2:3)
DAVID - window 5 (east side)
David was born in Bethlehem, the son of Jesse, a descendant of Ruth and Boaz. David was a shepherd boy who was devout, courageous, and gifted. He came to Saul's court as a musician. The killing of Goliath, the Philestine giant, by David made him a national hero. He became highly respected and loved by the people.
After the death of King Saul, David was proclaimed King and reigned from 1000 - 969 B.C. He made Jerusalem his capital which was called Zion, City of David, the Holy City. As king, David was without equal in the history of Israel. He is also one of the best known and loved poets of any race or time, having written many of the Psalms.
In spite of David's imperfections, Samuel's summary of David as a "man after God's own heart" has become the verdict of history. (I Samuel 13:14). He occupies a place of greatness next to Moses in the Old Testament.
Top Symbol: The crown represents the kingship of David during the "Golden Age of Israel."
DANIEL - window 6 (east side)
Daniel was one of four major prophets in the Old Testament. He was among those first taken captive to Babylon in 607 - 06 B.C. The story of his steadfast loyalty to God and his determination to maintain his ideal of personal chastity is familiar to Bible students.
Daniel spent his whole career in captivity and was a man of remarkable influence. The King elevated him to the position of head of all his wise men.
Of great significance is his deliverance from the den of lions. Because Daniel prayed openly to God, he was cast into the lions' den. The following day when the King came to check on him, Daniel said, "My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you. O King, I have done no wrong." (Daniel 6:22)
Top Symbol: The scales of justice are mentioned in Daniel 5:27 where King Belshazzer was weighed in the balances and found wanting.
THE ANNUNCIATION - window 7 (west side)
In the fullness of time the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a young woman of Nazareth and announced to her that she would bear a son, Jesus, who would be great and would be called the Son of the Most High; and he would reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his Kingdom there would be no end. And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God." Mary replied, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. (Luke 1:26-38)
Top Symbol: Three white lilies represent the beauty, purity, and innocence of Mary.
THE NATIVITY - window 8 (west side)
Luke tells us "that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city." (Luke 2:1-3). It was this order which forced Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem. When they arrived, there was no room for them in the inn and the baby Jesus was born in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. (Luke 1:4-7)
And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; saying, "Be not afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 1:8-11)
Top Symbol: A bright star guided the Wise Men to the Christ child that they might worship him and bring him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-12)
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS - window 9 (west side)
Jesus was thirty years of age when he began his public ministry. He came from Galilee to the Jordon to be baptized by John. John hesitated and even insisted that he was not worthy to baptize him. Jesus insisted that John must baptize him for "it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."
"And when Jesus was baptized he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased."
Top Symbol: The dove represents the manner in which the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus at his baptism. (Matthew 3:16)
JESUS AND THE CHILDREN - window 10 (west side)
As the popularity of Jesus spread, mothers brought their children to Him that He might touch them and bless them. The disciples rebuked the mothers because they did not think Jesus had time for such matters. (Mark 10:13) But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. (Mark 10:14-16)
Top Symbol: Barley loaves and two fish were brought to Jesus by a little boy, and Jesus performed a miracle, feeding five thousand people. The entire story is found in John 6:1-14.
THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE - window 11 (west side)
When the time of the crucifixion drew near, Jesus went into the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Gethsemane, a garden of olive trees, was one of Jesus' favorite retreats. Jesus left eight of his eleven disciples to watch. He then took Peter, James, and John and went further into the garden. "And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if thou art willipg, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.' And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, 'Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.'" (Luke 22:41-46)
Top Symbol: The cup represents the cup of suffering (crucifixion) Jesus asked the Father to remove, but prayed nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22:42) The cup is also representative of the cup in the Lord's Supper. (Matthew 26:27)
THE CRUCIFIXION - window 12 (west side)
"And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull) they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, 'This is Jesus the King of the Jews.' Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left."
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And some of the by standers hearing it said, 'This man is calling Elijah.' And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, 'Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.' And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit." (Matthew 27:33-50)
Top Symbol: A crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus as the soldiers mocked him. (Matthew 27:29)
THE RESURRECTED CHRIST - Baptistry Window
"Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went, to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.'" (Matthew 28:1-7)
In a period of forty days, Jesus made at least ten resurrection appearances. Then Jesus led his disciples out to Mount Olive, spoke briefly and as he gave them his blessing, "he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, 'men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'" (Acts 1:9-10)
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come ... Therefore, be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:42-44)
"Then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:27-28)
Odean W. Puckett