The Beauty of Stained Glass, the Artistry of Precious Moments When Challenges Arise, Artists Innovate
Knowing he wanted to feature multiple artistic mediums throughout the Chapel and Gardens, Mr. Butcher set his sights on creating stunning works of art, in the form of stained glass windows, to adorn the Chapel halls. Together with his sister-in-law, Annie Cushman, Mr. Butcher created some of the most exquisite stained glass windows in existence. Mr. Butcher’s son, Don, recalls “they both dabbled in stained glass before this undertaking, but didn’t know all the ‘rules’ so to speak, so they didn’t know what other stained glass artisans said was impossible. My dad had a vision and together they made it possible.” The result is some of the most beautiful and technically-difficult stained glass the world had ever seen, using new techniques created by Mr. Butcher and Annie.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
The Lord Is My Shepherd
Among the first windows to be designed and created, seven stained glass windows in the East hallway depict the Artist’s rendition of Psalm 23.
During Mr. Butcher’s breaks from painting the Sanctuary murals, he drew the designs for the stained glass windows to adorn the East and West hallways of the Chapel. After completing the designs on paper, adding his color codes, he flew to Redding, California to work with Annie at her studio. Of that experience, Mr. Butcher remarks “nearly everything I envisioned was almost impossible to translate into glass, but Annie, with her exceptional patience and creativity, was able to accomplish exactly what I desired so much to achieve.”
Supreme Blessedness in Stained Glass
Seven of the ten blessings recounted by Jesus in the sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew are artfully depicted in the West hallway stained glass windows. These proverb-like proclamations convey the message of Jesus in a positive sense, with the promise for salvation in the next world when we choose to live with humility, clarity and love.
Did You Know?
At the time the Chapel’s stained glass windows were made, traditional stained glass “rules” said stained glass could not be round, only straight lines and sharp edges. Admire the beautiful flowers and rounded head of the white dove to see Mr. Butcher & Annie Cushman certainly did not play by the rules!
Protectors Guard Us
Positioned on each of the four entry doors to the Chapel Sanctuary, stained glass angels stand guard over the four corners of the Earth. Unlike the conventional style of angels with fair complexions portrayed in most Christian art, Mr. Butcher chose to depict these guardians with various nationalities, purposefully signifying the protection that comes from all ends of the world.
Learn more about the Sanctuary murals.
“He Saw It Finished In His Mind, Before It Was Even Started”
After completing the drawings of the windows, Mr. Butcher set out hundreds of piles of glass color swatches, assigned each color a number code, and set to work “coloring” the stained glass sketches. Mr. Butcher’s son, Don, was on-hand most days to assist his dad in the most intricate “paint by number” project he’d ever seen. Don recalls “I remember it to this day! The most amazing part was he had literally hundreds of swatch colors memorized. He could call out numbers without ever looking at the colors on the table and they all were perfectly complementary! It was extraordinary!”
A Nail-Biting Journey
Annie and Mr. Butcher worked tirelessly to assemble the fragile works of art at her studio in Redding, California. Once complete, they were ready to ship to Carthage to be installed in the Chapel… except Annie was unable to find any carrier company who would willingly take responsibility to ship the fragile, priceless works of art! With the completed windows in Redding, and open spaces in Carthage, Annie and her husband, Jack, made the harrowing decision to load the windows into a U-Haul truck and drive them to Carthage themselves! After a nail-biting 4 ½ days and nearly 2,000 miles, not a single piece arrived damaged!
Revealing A hidden gem
As visitors approach the Chapel, they are often overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the structure, admiring the bronze plates, marvel at the intricately carved wooden entry door, and soak in the beauty of the surrounding gardens. As a result, most overlook the beautiful stained glass window depicting two angels sounding trumpets in celebration above the entry door. This hidden gem is the 15th stained glass window created by Mr. Butcher and Annie Cushman referenced throughout the Chapel’s history, including on the placard on the wall in the East hallway.
Did You Know?
The same trumpeting angels can be seen at the top of the New Testament sculpted bronze plate on the west exterior wall.
A Map To The Stained Glass
Thirty stunning handcrafted stained and leaded glass windows adorn the Chapel. Use the below Chapel Map to find your favorites!
Will You Be Ready When Jesus Comes? #Chapel_Cross
Did You Know?
Did you know? Philip’s Room contains 2 sets of double doors with beautiful stained glass windows inside. One set of doors leads into the Tim Ryan Memorial Room and behind the other – an elegantly masked storage closet!
Angels of Peace
Praying angels reverently watch over Philip’s Room and the Tim Ryan Memorial Room. Each stunning window is designed in soft pastels and rich blues, depicting guardian angels watching over all who enter the rooms.
A New Day Dawning
As visitors pass through the massive outer entry door and enter the lobby, they are greeted by a set of carved wooden doors leading into the Sanctuary. Pausing to look left and right in the lobby and you’ll notice each of the side access doors are graced with beautiful stained glass windows. The East side door features a young shepherd with a sheep admiring a bursting sunrise on a glorious dawn, while on the West side, a young boy and girl overlook three crosses on a hilltop.
A representation of knowledge, strength and the compassion to manage life’s ups and downs, the two Celtic cross stained glass windows outside the entrance to the Tim Ryan Memorial Room couldn’t be in a more appropriate location. The four arms of the cross are said to be representative of the four compassions (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water as a representation of mind, body, soul and heart.) The center ring is said to be evocative of infinite love; absent a beginning and end, it symbolizes God’s endless love.
Unequaled Beauty, Unparalleled Technique
The Artist’s Room, located in the West hallway across from Philip’s Room, features many of Mr. Butcher’s favorite things, including photos of him spending quality time with his grandkids. The focal point of the room, however, are the three magnificent nearly floor-to-ceiling leaded glass windows. Featuring intricate designs of soaring birds, the background resembles a glorious sunburst – especially when the afternoon sun streams through. As with stained glass, Mr. Butcher threw the rulebook out of the window when creating these leaded glass windows, and together with expert craftsmen, made possible techniques previously thought to be impossible. “He was breaking all the rules at that time. The techniques he used were unprecedented. Before my dad’s windows, there were only straight lines in leaded glass. Even today, it’s said to be impossible! Other craftsmen are in awe of he achieved,” remarks Mr. Butcher’s son, Don.