Clyde Hickerson was pastor of Northminster from 1944-1965 . Once every year he would preach the Sermon on the Mount—Matthew chapters 5-7—from memory. So it was no surprise when he designed Northminster’s sanctuary in the late 1950s that the focal point was the Sermon on the Mount crafted in stained glass.
The window is 32 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It was designed by Frederick Cole and crafted in Munich, Germany.
The original drawing had Jesus seated, as he is in the Gospel of Matthew, but when Dr. Hickerson saw it, he felt the dimensions were wrong. So he and Mr. Cole redesigned the window with Jesus standing and phrases from the sermon gently cascading like life-giving rain into the stream that fills the baptistry.
Whenever I stand in the sanctuary pulpit, I take comfort in the fact that if I fail in my work, behind me in beautiful plain sight was the most famous sermon in the world.
I’ve been thinking about this stained glass window this week thanks to the Reverend Elizabeth Mangham Lott.
Elizabeth is Northminster’s former youth minister and preschool coordinator. I am proud to call her one of my daughters in ministry. Last Sunday she was installed as pastor of St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.
Elizabeth, we wish you the very best. Your former community knows what a gifted pastor you are and how fortunate SCABC is to have you serving them. You’re going to do great things in NOLA (and all of us at Northminster look forward to visiting!).