Twelve years of planning, fund raisers and pledges culminated Monday morning with the installation of stained glass windows in the Bethel Lutheran Church, 413 N. Main St. in Firth.
The windows are in the front of the sanctuary. The one the left side features a picture of the ascension of Jesus Christ. The right side features Jesus welcoming a small child.
The two main panels measure 9 2/3 feet tall by 1 2/3 feet wide. The curved windows at the top of the design measure 1 2/3 feet tall by 1 2/3 feet wide.
The windows were designed, built and installed by the Laws Stained Glass Studios, Inc., from Statesville, N.C.
"Shipping and installation were included in the price," said church member Marlene Rogers.
An acrylic covering is placed on each window to protect it from gravel, rocks, hail, BB guns or stray bullets, said installer Robert Marlow.
"Kids doing wheelies in gravel give us a lot of business," he said.
Marlow has been installing stained glass windows the the Laws Company for 32 years. This is the first stained glass window job that Laws has had west of the Mississippi River.
"Most of our work is on the East Coast, from New York to Miami, Fla.," said Marlow.
Members of the congregation approved the project 12 years ago. Funds collected in the memorial fund were put toward the windows.
"Last September, we really got serious," Rogers said. "We had fundraisers and took pledges.
"The best part of it was we paid it off [the windows] last Sunday," she said.
The windows cost $20,000.
"This is a birthday present for our church," said member Merlene Brockway. "The church is 115 years old this year."
Members anticipate they will dedicate the windows sometime this summer.
Bob and Cheri White organized the final drive to fund the stained glass windows.
"I went by [the church] after work," said Cheri. "I think they're absolutely gorgeous; they're breathtaking We were able to meet our financial obligation with pledges and contributions from members and their families, friends and contributions from the memorial fund."
The memorial fund is established in memory or in honor of designated people.
A memorial plaque will be made to recognize contributions, White said.
To complete the design, a cross will be placed on the inside of the building, between the stained glass windows. Another cross on the outside of the building will mirror the one on the inside.