On Sunday, July 17, the congregation of Waynedale United Methodist Church, 2501 Church St., gathered to celebrate the installation and dedication of two new-again stained glass windows. The brief ceremony, led by Pastor Bill Garver, was the culmination of several months of planning and work by Linda Kuhn and Linda Walls of the church’s History committee, Pastor Bill, and Kathy Dalrymple, representative of the Memorial committee.
The 95-year-old windows initially hung in the belfry of Waynedale Methodist Episcopal Church, whose cornerstone was laid in August 1927. The belfry, along with the entire original sanctuary, was constructed of bricks reclaimed from the demolition of the former Allen County Children’s Home (now the approximate location of the Sears Pavilion across from Quimby Village). Tens of thousands of bricks were carted away by church members, then individually cleaned (many of them by Rev. Adams, the church’s redoubtable pastor) for reuse in the new building project. Several members stepped out in faith, taking out mortgages on their own properties to obtain funds for construction costs. On March 18, 1928, the congregation, in existence since 1903, finally had a permanent place to celebrate God and to serve the surrounding community.
Sadly, in 2012, the bell tower had to be demolished. The windows languished in storage for a decade before their chance to gleam came again. After their restoration by James Lupkin of William L. Lupkin Designs, Inc., Fort Wayne, the panels now enhance the church’s entry area, once more welcoming all comers to this Waynedale institution.