WALLINGFORD — Work to restore the stained-glassed windows at Yalesville United Methodist Church was recently completed.
“The frames were beginning to rot,” said Church Lay Leader Gail Powell. “Because of the way that they were installed and whatnot, the wood was starting to rot around all of them and they were in danger of falling out.”
J&R Lamb Studios Stained Glass Restorations of Midland Park, New Jersey, repaired the windows by keeping each in place and working around them. The work started in the fall and was recently completed.
“We did have some cracked tile,” said Jim Jackson, president of the church trustees. “They replaced it all and you wouldn’t even know they touched it. They did a fabulous job.”
Jackson said church leaders have solicited businesses to help pay for the work. The response has been good, Jackson said, but as of right now the church has had to rely on its trust fund.
“We’re hoping that we get enough money to pay for this,” Jackson said. “If we don’t get the funds, the Yalesville United Methodist church, a beacon of light for the community for 150 years, may not be able to continue to keep their doors open long due to the fact that they will be using most of our funds to pay for this project. This project is well over $100,000.”
The number of parishioners is down, Jackson said, so funds are already low.
“We used to have a full house,” Jackson said. “We had 130 to 140 members in the church every week. Now we get between 40 and 60 on a given Sunday.”
History of the Church
The Yalesville United Methodist Church was established in 1867 as two different denominations — Baptist and Methodist.
“The two worked out of the exact same church,” Jackson said.
In 1899, the Methodist group bought out the Baptist group and built the existing building on New Place Street.
The church celebrated its 150th anniversary in Yalesville in 2017
“The church was built for around $4,000, if you could believe that,” Jackson said. “There were a number of wealthy members of the community. They weren’t members of our church, but they made large contributions to the church.”
Each one of the stained-glass windows was a donation from a community member.
“There’s a lot of interesting history related to the town that’s involved with the windows and several of the congregations back in the late 1800s and early 1900s,” Powell said.
Reporter Jessica Simms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.