Bethel Grove Baptist Church on Green Bay Road in Rice became adorned for the first time in its history with stained-glass windows earlier this year.
The nine windows, which celebrate hallmarks of the Christian faith, were made possible by a large number of donors from the area and beyond.
Josephine Brown is a trustee at the church who led the effort to make the project a reality. She noted why May was a particularly appropriate time to highlight the endeavor.
“This is the month that we usually have the memorial service, the first Sunday, and we can’t have it due to churches being closed,” she said, referencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This (article) will be a good opportunity to thank the supporters of this project, to let them know how grateful we are for them, and without them, we couldn’t have done it.”
The prospect of the windows being installed had been a topic of conversation for a while.
“This is a project that’s been on and off for about the last 10 years,” Brown said, noting every year, something would come up to delay it. “This year I was determined that we would go through with it. And it was a struggle, but through it all we made it.”
She said a company from Lynchburg came and took measurements in December and did the installation in January and February.
Brown noted she cannot even imagine how many people supported the project.
“In the church, we are small in numbers, but in the neighborhood, we are big at heart,” she said. “We have so many great supporters all over Farmville. We even got support from North Carolina, New York, people that were supportive of what we were trying to do.”
She highlighted how the project came to fruition through people with willing and faithful hearts, stating it makes a difference seeing what people in the area can do.
“Because usually when you say, ‘I’m going to do this,’ first thing people say (is), ‘Well, I can’t, I can’t,’” she said. “Stop saying what you can’t (do) and say what you’re going to try to do, and God will do the rest.”
The pastor of Bethel Grove Baptist Church is Rev. John Hurt, and the assistant pastor is Rev. John Stokes.
Photos by Titus Mohler