First Christian Church
Waitsburg, Washington
Built in 1906, The First Christian
Church in Waitsburg,
Washington has many beautiful
Stained Glass Windows. The
three largest are highest up in
the dome of the church. They
were covered up when the
church closed off the upper
area with a suspended ceiling in
the 1940's. One window was
destroyed in a wind storm in the
1960's. A second window was in
danger of falling apart and was
removed and crated in its own
frame and left above the ceiling.
Only one window remained but
it was out of sight from within. In
2010, during a church
renovation, the suspended
ceiling was removed and the
domed ceiling was in full view
again. With the assistance of the
church member renovators, we  
removed the remaining two
windows. Each window was  
completely disassembled. The
old lead came was replaced with
new. Broken and cracked
pieces were replaced. Years of
grime and paint were cleaned
off the remaining pieces then
the entire windows were
re-assembled. A third window
was created from scratch to
match the originals. Fortunately
the windows were constructed
with Kokomo stained glass, a
company in business for over
100 years and still making the
same glass today.
Each window contains 502
individual pieces, is 6 feet tall
and 12 feet across.
The Rebuild Process

All pieces are numbered and photographed.
(Click on images for enlarged view)
Close up views of damage. Reinforcing
support wires had separated from lead
came. Damaged pieces were roughly
puttied to keep them from falling out.
Pattern rubbings were taken of
each section as they were
removed from the wooden frame.
The lead came was cut and each
piece was removed.
Set on a new pattern made from the
rubbing of the original window, the
pieces are reassembled one at a time
with all new lead came. All broken
pieces are replaced with new glass.
All the lead joints are soldered, then the entire
window is flipped over and the joints are
soldered again on the opposite side. Next putty
is worked into the gaps between the lead came
and the glass pieces. This makes the window
weather proof and adds additional strength.
Whiting (calcium carbonate) is spread over the window and
worked into the putty to help it harden. This cleans and
buffs the window at the same time. Wire ties are soldered
into joints where they line up with reinforcing rebar then the
window section is secured back in its wooden frame.