This post is contributed by Daniel Kessel at Middle Church Collegiate
Although Middle Collegiate Church is in current headlines for its activism around Black Lives Matter and LGBT equality, the congregation’s building speaks to its rich history in New York City. Middle Church has stood at Second Avenue and 7th Street since 1891; this building is the third site of the congregation. The interior of the church sanctuary is in the Gothic style, with a wood paneled ceiling supported by three Howe trusses and five pairs of Gothic spandrels.
The Collegiate Church of New York began on April 7, 1628, making it the oldest Protestant body in America with a continuous history of service. New York’s Liberty Bell hangs in the belfry of Middle Church’s main tower. It sounded on July 9, 1776, heralding the news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Middle Church is also home to a collection of stained glass windows designed by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, which are illuminated artificially. Originally designed from 19th-century European paintings, recently a darkening film was added behind the images of Jesus so his complexion would better represent the people of the region where he lived.
Here is a selection of the windows:
You can see the windows in person on Sundays at 11:15 am during Middle Church’s legendary Sunday celebrations or during the livestream of the celebration on the middlechurch.org homepage.