By Riley Manning
TUPELO – It’s taken more than three months, but the work on the stained-glass windows of Calvary Baptist Church is almost complete.
“The problem was the wood trim around the windows was rotting,” said the Rev. David Eldridge, Calvary’s pastor.
Mike Hester, of Hester Home Improvements, said he and his men were held up by the winter weather, but the renovations will be worth it.
“If you look, you can see where it’s coming apart,” he said. “So, we’re placing that old wood with plastic that will last much longer.”
The wood trim, he said, hasn’t held up well in the years since it was installed. Calvary burned to the ground near Christmas 1992, and the shards from the original windows were collected from the rubble by congregation member Chris Maynard, who had them fashioned into jewelry.
The sanctuary opened in 1995, and time had deteriorated some of the wood.
“There were gaps big enough that I could stick my hand inside the church from out here,” Hester said. “If not fixed, it’d let in the weather and let out air conditioning.”
Hester said he and his four-man crew also will replace the layer of plain glass insulating the stained glass. But until then, they covered the exposed stained glass with plywood.
On Tuesday morning, Hester’s men were making repairs to the final section of windows on the face of the church.
The new plastic trim, Hester said, will be much more durable. The improvement company has at its disposal an oven that allows the crew to bend the plastic and fit it to the shape of the windows.
“We don’t do many big projects like this, but we’re actually pretty well-equipped for it,” Hester said.