PORT GIBSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The damaged stained glass windows at a Port Gibson church were reinstalled last week.

There has been a hand at Port Gibson Presbyterian Church since the building was built in 1860. This is actually the third hand. The first was wooden. Between the weather, the rot and the woodpeckers, it had to be replaced with a sheet metal hand about the same time the stained glass windows where installed in 1903.

Now the windows, on the other hand, have stayed put for 120 years until one was damaged by vandalism in January 2023. Two sashes of the window had to be removed and repaired. Pastor Mike Herrin said fixing the windows is not simple. 

“These were originally put on around 1903, and they are hand-rolled opalescent glass. And the problem with that is, people stopped doing the hand-rolling process right around the time these windows were put in, so more modern glass has a smoother texture to it,” he explained.

Steve Wilson, of Baton Rouge, did a great job of the repair of the windows. Pearl River Glass in Jackson was also recommended, but they are in the middle of a project at the State Capitol.

Wilson’s crew arrived last Friday, and in a matter of a couple of hours, the windows looked as good as they have for over a century. They matched what was already here perfectly as far as I could tell.

Herrin said changes have had to be made on access to the church. Since 1860, when the church was new, up until just after the vandalism this year, any time you wanted to take a peek inside, all you had to do was go in. But not anymore. Not at least until security cameras and sensors are in place.