New Window Stories
West Angeles Cathedral Project

Concept version for the West Angeles Cathedral project.

The south central district of Los Angles California is a community on the move. Bishop Charles Blake along with his supportive wife Mae and dynamic congregation are revitalizing a neighborhood that is notorious for its riots, gangs and drive-by shootings. So miraculous is the effect of God's extraordinary passion flowing into this community that it has become a shining example to people everywhere of what divinely inspired men and women of the spirit can achieve. The tide has turned.

West Angeles has become the spiritual, social and economic center of south central Los Angeles. Its congregation includes everyone from the impoverished to wealthy business leaders. On any given day you will find single mothers, AIDS sufferers, drug and alcohol abuse victims, worshiping alongside trend setting movie stars, distinguished professional athletes, and community leaders. The co-chairmen of West Angeles Cathedral's building committee are Denzel Washington and Magic Johnson. They, along with the entire congregation, raised the funds to build the 5,000 seat cathedral that is far more precious than its exterior covering of Karelian granite and stained glass curtain walls. It truly is a beacon to the soul of man.

In 1969, The (then) Reverend Charles Blake was called to become the pastor of a divided 50-member congregation at West Angeles Church. Unknown to Reverend Blake the congregation had voted, before they had met him, to reject the proposal for him to become pastor of their church, and even after his appointment, there was a movement stirring to exclude him from the church building and grounds. In the midst of this turbulent beginning, Reverend Blake was re-energized through divine intervention and he knew this calling truly was God's plan for his life. Heart, mind, body and soul, plus his absolute rock-solid faith, became the cornerstone for the revitalization of this community.

When Reverend, now Bishop Blake and Mrs. Blake visited our studio in Fairfield, Iowa, to consult on the design for West Angeles Cathedral's stained glass, our entire staff was struck by their powerful spiritual light. We experienced that same spiritual presence of God that is revitalizing south central Los Angeles. Whether Bishop Blake is preaching to 150,000 believers in Uhuru National Park in Nairobi, Kenya, to a conference of 100,000 Pentecostal ministers and delegates gathered in Seoul, South Korea, or to his home congregation in Los Angeles, California, there can be no doubt that darkness has been overpowered by the light.

Baker University Chapel, Baldwin, Kansas

This historic English chapel was moved from its rural setting in England to the campus of Baker University. The chancel windows were restored by Bovard Studio and are exquisite examples of traditional English stained glass design.

An historic English chapel was moved stone by stone from its rural setting in England to the campus of Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas. Now perfectly restored, this beautiful chapel looks as if it had been there from the very beginning. A refined English style garden blends the rear of the Chapel into the surrounding Kansas landscape.

The Chapel windows are exquisite examples of English traditional stained glass design. The greatest responsibility in this restoration project was to find a suitable replacement glass and to recreate the painted details for the broken and missing components damaged in handling and transport from England to Kansas. The client challenged our artists to produce replacement pieces that were indistinguishable from the original.

We completed the restoration and installed the windows back into the Chapel's beautifully carved stone frames. We stood back to carefully scrutinize the windows and searched in vain as even our trained eyes could not differentiate the original glass from the replaced pieces of hand-painted glass.

At the Chapel's rededication ceremony, dignitaries and special guests assembled for the occasion. The sanctuary was animated in anticipation of the arrival of the special guest speaker. This individual had spent many Sundays of her youth here, as her father was the Pastor for the congregation at this rural English chapel. As the appointed time arrived, a warm reception was offered to the former Prime Minister of England, the honorable Margaret Thatcher.


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