Home Christian News Cathedral to Replace Confederate Windows With Stained Glass Reflecting Black Life

Cathedral to Replace Confederate Windows With Stained Glass Reflecting Black Life

“I’ve been around a lot of people doing a lot of different things with a lot of different perspectives,” he said. Embracing that complexity, he said, will be key to how he approaches his new assignment. “And I’ve found myself able to move fluidly and comfortably in all those environments.”

The Confederate-themed windows were added to the cathedral’s stained glass in 1953 with the support of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group that sought to honor the memory of veterans who fought for the South. The windows’ removal had been under consideration since the 2015 shooting of nine members of Mother Emanuel AME  Church in Charleston, South Carolina, but were taken down in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

The Lee window has been loaned to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and will be featured in the exhibition “Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and Its Legacies,” which is set to open on Friday.

While several statues of Confederate officers have come down in recent years, Eckstrom pointed out the cathedral windows “will be one of the first Confederate icons that has come down and been replaced with something else.”

In August 2020, a United Methodist church in Boise, Idaho, known as the Cathedral of the Rockies, deconsecrated a stained-glass window featuring Lee. In its place the church will honor Bishop Leontine Kelly, the first African American woman bishop in the United Methodist Church, according to the Rev. Duane Anders, pastor of the church.

Anders said the window will emphasize Kelly but also highlight the historic election of the first Hispanic American bishop and the first Japanese American bishop. All three were consecrated in the church’s sanctuary in a 1984 ceremony.

This article originally appeared here.

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Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.