Mount Zion’s Stained Glass
The beautiful stained glass windows in our sanctuary are the most striking architectural feature of Mount Zion United Methodist Church. The windows are original to the 1924 structure and among the most beautiful in the upstate with classes from Clemson University coming to study them.
During the 1950’s, the windows were memorialized; and the money was used to restore the sanctuary and purchase a cross and brass candlesticks for the communion table.
Whether sunlight is streaming brightly through them, or the colors are muted by a cloudy day, these windows are a treasure from times past and will give joy long into the future.
The Gassaway Family
Jesus with Children, the Chalice, and the Sheave of Wheat
The largest of the stained glass windows is the one which takes up most of the wall that faces Church Street. Situated between the double wooden doors, the window may be appreciated best from inside the sanctuary looking back towards the doors. This window carries the Gassaway family name.
The inscription at the bottom of the center panel reads:
“Suffer Little Children To Come Unto Me”.
This windows memorializes James D. Gassaway and Mariah H. Gassaway.
James D. Gassaway ~ March 13, 1813 to September 5, 1887
Mariah H. Gassaway ~ February 27, 1823 to May 22, 1890
The crest at the top of the window gives the installation year of 1921.
Walter L. Gassaway, who grew up in Central and cherished the church of his parents, made the original $50,000 donation toward construction of the church in 1923. That amount in 2018 dollars would be ~$750,757.31 .
This window memorializes Walter’s parents, James D. Gassaway and Mariah Douthitt Gassaway. More information may be learned about the Gassaway family at Clemson Wiki.
The chalice symbolizes the cup of the Last Supper where Jesus offered his blood for all of us.
This window also memorializes the Gassaway family.
The Sheave of Wheat
The sheave of wheat represents the gifts of God, the fullness and the bounty of the Lord.
This window memorializes
W. L. Gassaway (1865-1930). The inscription under his name reads
“Hither By Thy Help We’ve Come”.
The grapes symbolize the unity of the church.
This window memorializes
Arthur Ramseur (1858-1913) who was a dispatcher on the Southern Railway
that ran through Central and his wife, Elizabeth G. Ramseur (1860-1945).
The lamp symbolizes Christian knowledge.
This window memorializes the F. Burt Morgan family. Jeptha Morgan was a Central merchant whose daughters Jessie and Jennie were active in many ways during their lifetime at Mount Zion. Their home is now the Central History Museum which is located two houses down from the church. It is open to the public on Sunday afternoon.
The Pink Anemone
The anemone is symbolic of the Trinity. It is sometimes depicted in scenes of the Crucifixion as it was said that the flowers sprang up on Calvary.
This window memorializes
the Morgan Family: Francis B. Morgan,
Eugenia R. Morgan, Jeptha N. Morgan,
Minnie M. Morgan
The Easter Lily
The Easter Lily is symbolic of the resurrection although there is no specific scriptural reference to it.
This window memorializes William Wallace and Bert H. Wallace and is dedicated “To The Glory of God” by the Wallace family. William W. Wallace came to Central in 1912 as Superintendent of Central’s High School. Later he became president of Cannon Mills.
The Open Bible
The Bible is symbolic of God’s Holy Word, the main road map for the Christian.
This window memorializes the Gaines Family: Sallie Gaines, R. G. Gaines, and W. A. and Eloise H. Gaines. Several pioneer members of this family had a great part in organizing the early Mt. Zion church and descendants remain active to this day.
The Anchor is symbolic of Christian Hope – the Hope of salvation through the cross of Christ.
This window memorializes John N. Sims (1879-1945).
The Cross within the Crown
The Cross within the Crown is a combination of two Christian symbols. The Cross reminds us of Christian death and the Crown symbolizes the reward of the faithful in life after death.
This window memorializes Ben and Ada Abercrombie. Mr. Ben F. Abercrombie served as Sunday School superintendent for 28 years.
The Ark of Noah
The Ark is symbolic of the covenant between God and Noah, which is an everlasting covenant. Genesis 9:16
This window memorializes Faye Dobson, the 11-year-old daughter of Mollie Newston Dobson (1913-2007). Faye was born in 1937 and passed away in 1949.
The Ascension of Christ
The Ascension of Christ is symbolic of the exaltation of Jesus. Through ascension Jesus took his seat at the right hand of God. “he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
This stained glass image is back lit and was given by Harold Wood in memory of his wife, Martha B. Wood. It was added in 1999 after the organ and pipes were removed from the chancel area.