An updated and revised version of this site is available at . Please send suggestions and comments to Bill Lyons,

The subjects relate to First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. :

If you would like to be added to a notification list for significant additions to the paper, please let me know.


Friday, April 8, 2011

New versions of the full paper on History and Interpretation and a shorter version on Viewing The History Windows have been added.

Please send me your questions, comments, and additions.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

New sermon notes and windows images have been added to the GoogleDocs site which relates to Sermons In Windows for four Tiffany windows.

Please let me know if you find these interesting and how I can make them more useful to you.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Willet Correspondence - Stained Glass Windows

Willet was involved with the windows of First Presbyterian in four periods in five decades from the 1920s through the 1990s. No records of the 1990s have yet been located, and no contact is known to have occurred in the 1950s.

The contacts in the 1920s and 1930s were related primarily to consideration of Willet to be involved in the ten history windows, both before and after the death of Tiffany. Later Willet was selected to create the East window (1948) and the Rose window (1992).

He also created other windows: Jesus and the Little Children (1934), Winship Chapel (1965), and the Narthex set (1969) (first mentioned in a letter from Dr. Lyons in 1929).

When Tiffany died, D’Ascenzo was chosen over Willet despite Willet’s vigorous competition and his inside contacts. Willet’s letters criticize D’Ascenco in several ways.

Two important factors in rejecting Willet’s proposal for the ten History windows relate to the desire to keep the final four windows consistent with the first six in design, color and style. It was vital to Dr. Lyons that the windows and their stories be more important than the styles of different artists. Also important was the willingness of the artist to work closely with the designer (Dr. Lyons) and the members of the church in portraying the subjects involved.

I am confident that records of the communications with Willet in regard to the Rose window will be found and am always hopeful for finding other records and personal memories which will contribute.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

3rd & 4th Grades Sunday 13 February 2011

3rd & 4th Grades Sunday 13 February 2011

Today we had a group of thirty or more 3rd & 4th graders and a few adults in the sanctuary between services at First Presbyterian to discuss the windows. The students were all attentive and asked many questions.

The range of questions was impressive, and one student even ventured to identify which artist did which window. He got the first one right and stopped at that point.

Several asked about how to learn more and some asked for the link to the paper online.

Please let me know if your group, any age, is interested in presentations on the windows or history of the church.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

13 Branches in 1870

13 Branches in 1870

In 1870 there were thirteen branches of the Presbyterian Church (Weekly constitution 19 April 1870, page 3). Actually, the article only lists eleven)

The big three were:

Reunited Cumberland Southern

The smaller, chiefly of Scotch origin are (my history teaches me that they should all be considered of “Scots” origin) (number ministers, number churches):

Old Side Reformed (Covenanter) (80,80) Associate Synod of NA (13)

New Side Reformed (Covenanter) (55,60) Associate Synod of NY (11) Old School

Associated Reformed (68) Declaration and Testimony

Now, for all of you who can count, yes I am a mathematician among other things, so here it is:

Number Eleven “A recent organization in Charleston, SC, whose name is not reported.”

The first person to send me the name of the Eleventh, with a valid source gets a free printed copy of this paper, and a free one year access to my blog.

Anyone who can supply the same information for a total of thirteen, gets twice the above award.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

7 Useful Hours Plus

7 Useful Hours Plus

My thanks for guidance in the creation of this blog go to Claire Watkins and Erika Ward who offered a one-day class on Blogging by Design. They helped me get started on a path which I hope will help me make this interesting material available to many of you.

Thanks ladies, for hanging in there with me.

Bill Lyons

Welcome to Sermons in Windows

Preliminary Blog

Welcome to my new Blog. This blog will present the material which I have called Sermons in Stained Class. This paper covers a brief history of how First Presbyterian Church came to 16th & Peachtree, recounts the story of the creation of the stained glass windows, and tells the story in each window.

Material in the paper and on this blog covers the stained glass windows produced by Tiffany, D’Ascenzo, and Willet for First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta.

I am pleased that you have found this material. It is clearly in an early stage of development. Please let me know how you found this spot, and tell me how I can make it useful to you. Your questions and suggestions will be appreciated and responded to.

Your response to the blog will be appreciated. Please tell any interested persons about this blog.

The paper, Sermons in Stained Glass, is (will be) available through links from this blog as well as directly on my Google Docs site (link to be provided) and the First Presbyterian Church web site (link to be provided). The place to make comments, ask questions, and give suggestions is this blog.

The complete paper is now available through the two sites in a searchable pdf with a Table of Contents. An index is planned.

It is my intent to also provide on both sites a page for each window which contains an image of the window and the discussion of the story it tells. The window images on the blog will link directly to each corresponding page.

Please pass on your questions and any suggestions for additional content to Bill Lyons.

Bill Lyons