First Presbyterian Church
1328 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, GA  30309
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Sermons in Stained Glass


Christian Missions

Christian Missions:  Tiffany Stained GlassMatthew 28:19-20, Ephesians 1:1-10, 6:17

The final window around the floor of the sanctuary is executed by Tiffany. It is particularly interesting for several reasons. It was given by the members of the congregation of FPC to honor Dr. and Mrs. Lyons, upon her early death at 52. The window also honors Dr. Lyons. 

The lower scenes show an open Bible .   Extending through all three of the lower windows is a Roman arch (see enlarged image below).

It was significant to the spread of Christianity that during the first centuries after Christ's resurrection Rome was powerful. Although the empire was very much opposed to Christianity, unwittingly it made possible the spread of Christianity. Rome had conquered the lands all around the Mediterranean. It had built great roads, developed shipping, and established law and order. These improvements made possible the spread of Christianity because men could move about and preach the message of Christ, the Savior.  

If you look very closely you will see the letters SPQR, representing the Roman words Senatus Populus Que Romanus . . . the senate and people of Rome. All over the empire these words appeared on every Roman arch. 

The trefoil depicts the spread of Christianity which is why this window is known as the Christian Missions Window. Here is Saul, now Paul, preaching in Macedonia. God had sent him into Macedonia though he wanted to stay in Asia Minor. The scene shows him at Philippi preaching. Lydia, the lady who sold purple linens, is at his feet being converted as is her entire family. The people listening to Paul represent people of all races from Africa, Asia, Europe, all listening and being converted to Christianity.

In the small scene near the top a bright light shines. The notes of Dr. Lyons’ son show that this is a lamp which is “symbolic of the light which led the messengers of the Gospel on their way.”


 Tiffany reported that in all his research he could not find a similar church window.

 This was the second window installed. The windows plan on the back page of the dedication bulletin identifies the window as “Mission”. The insertion of this window as the second one to be installed caused several changes in the plan for the windows as shown in Appendix A.

 The dedication sermon for this window was preached by Rev. Charles R. Hemphill, DD, of Louisville, KY. Dr. Lyons is not listed in this service. In his sermon two weeks later he said “There is a kind of spiritual beauty in this window which even Tiffany’s skill cannot provide. It is made of grace upon grace ... and it reflects your sympathy, your love, your loyalty, and your generosity which a grateful pastor and his family will always see as the chief beauty of this glorious window.”



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Christian Missions


 First Presbyterian Church
1328 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, GA  30309