“God in California”
The Altar Window of Open Door United Methodist Church, installed 1961
The upper panels of this window tell the story of Creation. The lower middle panels represent the advent of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s resurrection, flanked by the Roman centurion and Mary Magdalene. Below him, the Nativity is represented. Dispersed throughout the panels are images of God’s work in California. You may notice the trees: redwood, oak, olive, and almond, all native here. California native fauna are also represented by the grizzly bear. Notable images in the lower panels include: the Orthodox Church at Fort Ross and the Roman Catholic Mission at Sonoma. The UC Berkeley Campanile and the State Capitol are also represented, along with the seal of the University of the Pacific, the oldest chartered university in California, which began as a Methodist school. See below for a complete list of individuals pictured.
Individuals included in this window are as follows:
Jedediah Smith, who forged overland trails to California from back East.
(Smith is pictured in a railway coach. Methodists were the first to hold church in Richmond, in 1899.)
Evangelist William Taylor, standing on a whiskey barrel and preaching to forty-niners.
Isaac Owens driving an oxcart, with wife and baby in the covered wagon.
(Owens and Taylor opened the Methodist Publishing House, the first bookstore in California, also pictured.)
Two Circuit Riders (traveling Methodist preachers) on horseback.
Rev Dr Leon Loofbourow, Circuit Rider and preacher in California, from 1903 until his death in the 1960s.
(Loofbourow planted many churches, including this one, where he served as its first pastor.)
Lizzie Glide, lifelong Methodist benefactor, and namesake of Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco.