Our Church Artistry
300 Willits Street
First Baptist Church
of Birmingham, Michigan
The Narthex Sanctuary Window
As this congregation turns to leave worship, we enter the world which "God so loved." As a downtown church, we are called to engage God's world.
The design of this window derives its focal point from the cross at the top. Through the intricate tracery of the limestone mullions, lines and color radiate its message.
We see the Greek letters, Alpha and Omega. The four Apostles are represented by the letters A, L, O, and E, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Angel, Lion, Ox, and Eagle.) The Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20) to go into the world was given to the eleven apostles whose shields are from left to right: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, Bartholomew, Philip, Thomas, Simon, Jude and James. Through them the message of Christ was carried into the world, mainly four human endeavors: industry, education, social order and arts.
In the industry panel on the lower left, the wheel symbolizes humanity's first major advancement: the cog wheels represent the Industrial Revolution; and then, the Atomic Age. Two equilateral triangles intersecting in the top of the Education panel symbolize humanity's heavenly and earthly existence striving to be united. The lower symbol depicts the lamp of learning.
The next panel to the right, the Social Order, is symbolized by scales of justice, and the United Nations symbols, which represents all efforts to establish global peace and justice. The far right panel depicts the expressions of art, music, painting and drama. At the very bottom is the rainbow, God's promise to be with us always. Reaching out of the darkness toward Christ's light are the forms of humanity. Throughout the window are seen the rays touching upon all its parts, just as Christ affected every part of human life. This window was given in memory of Robert Critchfield, dedicated, December 26, 1976, and designed by Willit Studios of Philadelphia.
The Sanctuary Chancel Window
The warm and rich colors of this window call this congregation to worship every Sunday. At the bottom of the window stand the four Gospel Writers - St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John, each holding a writing quill. Near the top, we see the descending dove of the Holy Spirit - and a glimpse above of the New Jerusalem. Below the dove are symbols of the Waters of Life flowing from the Holy City, and the Fruits iof the Spirit descending upon the church.
Given by Robert and Helen Critchfield upon their 50th Wedding Anniversary, and dedicated October 25, 1970, the window was designed by Lamb Studios of New Jersey.
The Courtyard Window
Given in memory of beloved church member, Mickey McGuire, and dedicated on June 4, 1995, this window depicts the movement from brokenness to wholeness, which was a compelling part of Mickey's own life journey. The biblical text of the window is "...your light shall rise from the darkness around you, and your gloom will turn to the brightness of noon...You will arise like a spring whose waters never fail." (Isaiah 58:10b, 11c)
The nurturing hands of God, arising from eternal, healing waters, give life and gracefulness to the human spirit, represented by the colorful strands of the soul, reaching upward. Though evil and brokenness lurk around us, represented by the broken and grotesque figures in the outside panels, even still the life-giving Spirit of God sustains us.
This window was designed by Lucinda Shaw, a former member of this congregation, and founder of Acacia Art Glass Studios in Baltimore, Md.