Huntington’s historic Bethel AME Church is in the midst of upgrading its look through repair and preservation of eight stained-glass windows.
The Rev. Larry D. Jennings Sr. said the long-planned project at the church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was accomplished with the support of Old Huntington Green Inc. and Town Historian Robert Hughes, helping the church obtain grants for the work.
Jennings said the work is complete on four windows, and hopes the rest will be done by the end of the year.
The windows line the nave of the church and have special meaning to both the church and several members related to people who have windows dedicated in their honor.
“This is a big boost to the excitement and morale of many longstanding members,” Jennings said. “It makes you want to do a happy dance.”
Hughes said the work cost $47,675, with funding from a variety of sources, including the church, a $10,000 grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program, $20,000 from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation and $5,000 from the Gerry Charitable Trust.
“The windows were sagging and barely holding in place,” Hughes said. “This is getting done in the nick of time.”
“Now the windows look glorious,” he said.
Architectural conservator Joel Snodgrass of Steward Preservation Services in Huntington did the initial assessment of the needed work and is overseeing the craftsmen carrying out the wood and glass work.