Our Stained Glass Windows
First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa Stained Glass Windows
The area behind the pulpit of First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa is graced by a spectacular stained-glass window, crafted in 1886 by the famous New York City firm of Lewis Comfort Tiffany.
This window was a gift from Eloisa Prime, widow of the Reverend Samuel Irenaeus Prime, first pastor of our congregation. Patterned after an early 16th century woodcut by Albrecht Durer, the window depicts the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The verse, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” recalls the text of the Prime’s last sermon, preached in Saratoga Springs.
The remaining stained-glass windows were installed very early in the 20th century as memorials to church members and pioneering organizations.
The windows in the vestibule recall Psalm 121 (“I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.”) and Psalm 23 (“He leadeth me beside the still waters.”).
On the right-hand side of the sanctuary, two windows emphasize the importance of the Bible as the word of God. The crown symbolizes both the reign of Christ and the Christian’s commitment to His kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” The strawberries with their three-sectioned leaves recall the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). This fruit also symbolizes the barbs, blood, and blessing of Christ’s death on the cross.
On the left-hand side of the sanctuary, the window at the front of the balcony features a pair of calla lilies. Lilies are also featured in the window near the front. These lilies, which “neither sew nor spin,” recall Christ’s promise in Matthew 6:28-29 that God will supply all that a Christian needs to serve the Lord. The anchor is an ancient symbol of hope, inspired by Hebrews 6:19, which speaks of hope as a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”
The birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, beneath a glorious sky, is depicted in what some believe is the most beautiful window of the group. The tree laden with fruit symbolizes the fruitfulness of Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection.