As church workers designed new tri-fold doors for the chapel, they immediately wanted to include some windows, helping to bring just a little light into the space even when the doors were closed. But they wanted them to “fit” with the design of other windows in the building.

Turns out that the glass used to create the windows in the back of the sanctuary, between the sanctuary and the narthex, was likely created by a company from the region, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co. (KOG). Founded in 1888, KOG is the oldest producer of hand-cast, cathedral, and opalescent glass in the United States. Proudly based in Kokomo, Indiana, KOG is known worldwide for its high-quality, hand-mixed sheet glass. KOG is the leader in the development of opalescent glass from the time of its origin and has hundreds of color recipes, documented color combinations, and numerous textures and densities.

The connection was discovered somewhat “accidentally” as Rev. Paul Albers (Pastor’s son) started to investigate with his supplier in Omaha, Nebraska. St. John’s own Roger Schuster creates stained glass items as a hobby and Paul has been interested in doing more work using especially the kind of lead “came” that is typical of our windows at St. John’s. Roger’s work has been limited to the use of copper foil (see the small window in the narthex restroom door). 

Roger took a trip to Kokomo and bought glass that is similar in style and color to the glass we have now at St. John’s. He cut the glass and now he and Pastor are working to get the glass to Paul in Omaha so we can create the one-foot-square glass panels for the doors.

The project will add about $1,000 in cost to the value of the doors but everyone agrees the investment of money, time, and effort will be well worth the investment!