Stained glass is the only art form entirely developed in and for the Christian era. No other craft deals in light as brilliant or as elemental as that of stained glass. Color is of paramount consideration. Pure color in light has the power of lifting the observer out of himself and into unspoken realms of meaning and feeling. But stained glass must be more than just exciting, in a worship center it must be inspiring. Through a dynamic marriage of brilliant color and creative design, stained glass suggests heavenly events, virtues, and ideas.
The broken, yet harmonious color and design of the stained glass windows at Midway Hills Christian Church create its own aesthetic atmosphere of warmth and beauty, grace and power, to feed the heart, mind, body, and soul of each unique sojourner.
For a complete study of all the windows and their symbology, explore The Meaning of Symbols in our Worship of God.
The Main Windows
Ecumenical Window – East Wall
“And all shall be one in Christ”
The East Wall Ecumenical Window was a gift of the family of Edgar DeWitt Jones by his family. Dr. Jones was an esteemed theologian and pastor named Minister Emeritus of Central Woodward Christian Church, Detroit, Michigan.
This window symbolizes the Universal Church. At the top is the hand of God, from which all things come; below it is the cross with its base resting on the curved surface of the world, demonstrating the gospel’s message throughout the world. The large vertical crossed lineal pattern (some see it as similar to the sign of the fish, others as the shape of a flame) that runs from the top of the window to the bottom and crosses over the cross, denotes that “I am the vine and you are the branches.”
The base of the cross has its roots in the Star of David, as Christianity sprang from and has its roots embedded in Judaism. Resting on the left of the cross are the Ten Commandments, and to the right of the cross are St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (representing the Roman Church) and the Hagai Sophia in Istanbul (representing the Eastern Church).
The Luther Rose Shield (red heart on white background to left of cross) was designed by Martin Luther, and represents the religious enlightenment of the Reformation.
The kernel of wheat (bread) and bunch of grapes (wine) represent the communion of the Christian Church.
To the right of the lower part of the Cross is a small spire of four different colors representing all the people of the world, all children of God, as one in the Universal Church.
The colors used in this window are: blue/blue-gray (celestial bodies); red/gold/yellow (life, love, passion; and green/terreverde (everlasting life and regeneration).
Resurrection Window – West Wall
“Eternal Life in and with Christ”
This window symbolizes rebirth in the resurrected Lord. The dominant figure of this window is the resurrected Christ with arms uplifted with the wind of the Holy Spirit encircling the head.
The resurrected Lord stands atop a depiction of the empty tomb.
In the left part of the window, from bottom to top, is a tree with sprouting leaves at the top, and a sprouting seed in the lower right hand panel — both symbolizing life and rebirth of the earth. In the top two right hand panels, there are various combinations of blue/green representing peacock feathers, which grow back more brilliantly than ever when old ones are shed. The bold vertical columns in the lower right panel depict the restored temple, another representation of the resurrected Christ.
The color green appears at various locations in this window, representing eternal life.
Incarnation Window – North Baptistery Wall
“And the word was made flesh”
This window depicts the incarnation (God among humanity in Christ) of Jesus and Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. The dominant feature of this window is the representation of Christ preaching. Behind Jesus are the blowing winds of the Holy Spirit.
The mountain hillsides where Jesus preached to the multitude are seen in the lower two panels.
At the very bottom of the window (hidden by the baptistery wall) is a river of life (baptism) with red fish swimming in it depicting Christ’s followers as “fishers of men.” This river continues through several of the windows on the East Wall.
Reconciliation Window – Narthex
“You shall love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
God is symbolized by the Omnipotent Eye, the observer of all things; the dove represents the Holy Spirit. Two human figures, representing all persons, are grasping a heart in front of a rose-colored cross, both symbols of Christ’s suffering. Some see the red figure as a symbol of a chalice.
Worship Window – Narthex
Converging lines at the top invite people to enter to worship.
The hands at the top are bathed in the light of God and are raised in adoration, seeking guidance from God.
Below is the symbol of the church-in-the-round, reminding us that we are not only in communion with God but in relation to each other as well.
Service and Witness to the World – Narthex
Emerging and dispersing lines indicate that Christian teaching is to be practiced in all walks of life.
The hand with the trowel represents vocations through which we, sharing in the building of the city, make our personal witness to the community around us.
Beneath the hands are the various vertical shapes and sizes of tall buildings of a metropolis done in brilliant colors. Our city is the starting point for us to go out into the world to live and build a life in God’s Holy Light.
Enter to Worship — Depart to Serve – Narthex
These windows represent our entering to worship and our departing to serve. The flower is a sign of preparation for worship, and the globe over the cross represents our concern for the mission of the church to the world.
The Etched Glass Windows and Original Window Sketches
Crucifixion & Resurrection Etched Windows – Sanctuary Entrance from the Gathering Space
The main entry doors to the sanctuary from the gathering area are flanked by two etched glass panels depicting the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
We are privileged to have had access to some of John Kebrle’s original sketches, conceptualizing his plan for our window designs. We have included several in the gallery with the etched windows.
John Kebrle — designer and artist for stained glass windows and etched glass panels
John Kebrle, owner of Kebrle Stained Glass Studio in Dallas, the firm his father founded in 1920, designed, fabricated, and installed all of the stained glass windows at Midway Hills Christian Church. He has served as president of the Stained Glass Association of America and has worked with many churches in the Dallas area. However, his global reputation comes from his many windows at Hard Rock Café facilities throughout the world.
Other Stained Glass Pieces