Page 13: The amazing history of a Gulfport church dome

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Throughout history, stained glass with biblical images have always been a beautiful part of church architecture. First United Methodist Church in Gulfport's stained glass dome over the sanctuary is a brilliant example of spiritual power.

"The stained glass and the dome in particular remind us of the grace of God," said Pastor Andy Johnson.

The dome symbolizes creation from the Book of Genesis. According to Pastor Johnson, scripture reveals God's intent to provide a window of sorts between heaven and earth.

"In church architecture, the dome becomes a symbol of God's making space for human life to emerge," he said.

The church was built in 1912. The story behind the dome was featured in an international magazine dedicated to the art and history of stained glass.

In the story the author writes, "The dome, constructed in Europe could not be replaced at any cost."

The dome is best known for its four angels.

"The four large angels represent the four corners of earth and God's promise to draw all people into God's presence," said Johnson.

For more than a century, the stained glass dome at First United Methodist Church has been an artistic and religious marvel and Pastor Andy Johnson says it will continue to inspire.

"It becomes the anchor for us, of our identity in this place for generations and generations to come," Johnson said.

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