The first two restored stained-glass windows have been returned to their place at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in downtown Raleigh, and the contractor says he plans to remove the next four for restoration work sometime in the next 45 days.
St. Paul A.M.E. has embarked on a campaign to refurbish 47 of the church’s 79 century-old windows. Beset by repairs on its 106-year-old building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, the congregation has sought help paying for the window work from the wider community through a gofundme page.
As of Wednesday, 55 people have pledged $4,200 through the gofundme page. The church’s pastor, Rev. Gregory Edmond, says another $13,830 in donations for the windows had come directly to the church as of last week. Almost all of the donations, he said, were inspired by a News & Observer article about the project last month.
Still, the tally is far short of what’s needed to restore the windows, many of which have begun to sag or bow out as the leading that holds the pieces of colored glass together has deteriorated. The windows must be taken apart, cleaned and then put back together with new strips of leading – a painstaking and expensive process.
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The company doing the restoration work, Stained Glass Associates of Knightdale, finished the first two in May. Both were more than 8 feet tall and about 2 feet wide and contained about 300 pieces of glass each.
There are 115 stained-glass panels that make up the windows in St. Paul A.M.E., including 15 panels in the largest window, on the front of the church. Broken or missing pieces of glass on some of the smaller panels will be replaced without removing the windows.
The gofundme page initially set a goal of $43,400 for the windows. The church increased that figure to $144,000, which includes other repairs to the aging building.
“We’ve got a lot more to raise,” says Reuben Freeman, the contractor. “That’s why it’s such a slow process. As the money trickles in, we get it done.”
Want to help?
St. Paul A.M.E. Church is accepting donations for its window restoration project at www.gofundme.com/stpaulamewindows or send a check made out to St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 402 West Edenton St., Raleigh, N.C., 27603