FLOYD COUNTY —
While on a tour of historic buildings last year, Greg Phipps was struck by the beauty of the stained glass windows of a downtown church, and came up with an idea.
Phipps — a New Albany City Councilman — proposed to photograph the stained glass windows of various churches in the city, and share those images with the Floyd County Historical Society.
So far, Phipps has captured images from 25 New Albany churches, and will discuss the collection with the Floyd County Historical Society during its monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Along the journey, Phipps said he encountered friendly church members and officials who were eager to share their worship halls and stories about their windows.
“Everyone was very proud of their stained glass windows,” Phipps said. “Some of the churches had very detailed information, some had no information.”
Phipps also utilized the Indiana Room of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library for research. He learned of how some churches transferred their windows from earlier structures to their current locations.
Depicting a variety of biblical scenes and religious images, Phipps said the stained glass windows separate outside distractions from spiritual worship.
“The stained glass to me just sets the mood,” said Floyd County Historian David Barksdale.
He was pleased when Phipps told him about his project, and said he’s eager to learn more during Tuesday’s meeting.
“I really get excited when other people become interested in any facet of history in New Albany and take the ball and run with it,” he said.
Phipps’ project has already extended to more than just churches. He’s photographed the stained glass windows of two New Albany funeral homes and a pair of cemeteries.
However, his presentation Tuesday will focus only on the churches. During his work, Phipps said he’s seen windows that were designed more than a century ago to those that were built within the past few decades.
“So everything from traditional to contemporary,” he said.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Elsa Strassweg Auditorium of the NA-FC Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.