GETHESEMANE LUTHERAN CHURCH, CONSTRUCTED 1962
ARCHITECT: EUGENE WUKASH
(From the church's website, concerning the stained glass windows: "Gethsemane is identified as the beautiful stained glass church on highway 183 between Lamar and Interstate 35. Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France created the incredible stained glass windows of Gethsemane in order 'to give a mystical atmosphere so that those who come have an experience of joy through peace with the window'. This world-renowned artist introduced the world to this unique style of glass. He received the French Legion of Honor award and his recognizable work is installed around the world. When Gabriel was ever sad, he would pull out the drawings of Gethsemane’s windows done by the children of Gethsemane and his spirit would be lifted.
Each panel was created in Loire’s studio in Chartres and reassembled on site like a giant puzzle. The windows utilize over 150 shades of Chartres’ blue with other colors for highlight effect in the windows and the light does wonderful movement. The windows form the globe of a lantern, hanging as 'a lighthouse set on a hill'. The altar in the center is the light, declaring the gospel story to the people of God in Austin and throughout the world.
The front wall is 40 feet tall and reflects the theme of Gethsemane with the hands of Christ in prayer and the words from the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spoke to his disciples in Mark 14, to tarry, watch, pray, and rise. The outline of the cross is visible. This magnificent piece sets the theme, A Heritage of Faith, for the chancel and clerestory windows.
Stained glass is the traditional way to tell the stories of the Bible and the church. Gethsemane’s windows tell the story from creation in the northeast corner through the Old Testament covenants and promises on the east side. The floor to ceiling windows on the east and west sides of the altar proclaim the story of Jesus from birth to resurrection. The west clerestory windows tell the story of the early Biblical church through the church of our day, living with the Spirit in acts of grace, to the final 'alpha and omega' window at northwest corner.
Children and adults alike are amazed at the beauty of these fabulous spirit-filled windows. Gabriel Loire has completed over 850 beautiful works around the globe. Some of the outstanding works are Tower of Joy for Children in Hakone, Japan; the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, Germany; Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, England; Thanksgiving Square, Dallas, Texas; Whatley Chapel, Denver, Colorado; Moody Memorial Methodist Church, Galveston, Texas; Chapelle du College de la Salle in Cairo, Egypt.")