Stained Glass Windows Add to Colorful Narrative of Historic Keltys Church

The long history of Keltys United Methodist is more colorful with the recent addition of a set of memorial stained glass windows.

White siding surrounds the small wooden church tucked a short walk off North Raguet in the historic Keltys neighborhood. From outside, one would never guess the worship space holds such beautiful hand-crafted woodwork lit by a rainbow of colors from the tall windows.

The church is nearly 120 years old, built and finished with wood inside by members who worked at the nearby Louisiana-Pacific mill, since shuttered and burned down.

The windows line both sides of the room, painted center medallions on each depicting a timeline of the life of Christ, from birth to resurrection. Each work of art was paid for by church members and includes dedication plates in honor or memory of present or past members.

The Rev. Jacqueline Harmon offered a look at the windows last week, accompanied by Sue Shelton and her grandson, Benjamin Shelton. The Shelton family has had members in the church for five generations.

Like the workers' homes that surround it, the church is full of an abundance of beautifully-milled wood, Harmon said.

"The people built it," Harmon said of the church. "From natural Southern pine, milled at Keltys."

Teresa Darby and her husband David Darby, owners of Glass Castles, a stained glass store in Nacogdoches, created the windows. Families were able to choose which medallions they liked, as well as religious symbols added to the window corners. Designs and colors were chosen to complement an existing church window done by another artist.

Beautifying the sanctuary and bringing color into the historic church has been special, Teresa Darby said last week.

"We enjoyed being a part of making their worship space more spiritual," Darby said. "Those windows will be there as long as the building is standing, and those families will be remembered."

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