St. John’s AME Church Stained Glass
Henrietta Gill – Memories in the Stained Glass
Sheila Mason Burton – Preserving and Protecting
St. John A.M.E. Church was established in Frankfort in 1839. The present church was built in 1893, designed by Professor Moses Davis, an instructor of mechanical art at the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute, now Kentucky State University. The pastor of the church at that time was the brick mason. The church has a long history in the community. During the Civil Rights Movement, the church was a gathering place for peaceful activism.
The early members of this African Methodist Episcopal congregation wanted to beautify the church to give glory to the Lord. The richly stained glass windows were installed between 1912 and 1917, and families like the Metcalfs still take pride in seeing their family names memorialized on the windows. Although vandals shot at the windows with bee-bee guns, the windows didn’t shatter. Church members raised funds to place protective plexi-glass on the outside of the windows, but several holes are still visible.