Capital Campaign 2014 - 2016

The First United Methodist Church of Geneva, NY has embarked on a Capital Campaign to raise approximately $160,000 to restore the 100-year-old four-faced clock in its landmark clock tower and refurbish its iconic “Jesus and the Children” and “Good Shepherd” stained glass windows in its sanctuary. The campaign runs in conjunction with the Centennial of the current church building at its location at 340 Main Street. See our story in FL TIMES!

The clockinstalled in the new church at 340 Main Street was state-of-the-art for 1914. Made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company, it was one of the largest in the area and visible from most parts of the city at that time. The clock faces are more than eight feet in diameter and are made of half-inch plate glass ground on both sides so they easily can be illuminated from the inside. The numbers on the clock are made of enameled cast iron. The large hands are 4.5 feet in length and the small hands about 3.5 feet. It ran eight days without winding and was guaranteed not to vary over five seconds in a month. Over the years, the hand-winding system gave way to an electric motor.

The clock rang a large bell on the hour and citizens set their watches by it until the late 1990’s when slow deterioration stopped it all together. The glass on the north face of the clock blew out during a windstorm. The other faces of the clock are cracking and losing their caulking and there is concern glass pieces could dislodge and fall.

The American Tower Clock Company of Rochester, NY, will install an electronic movement to run the clock that will be highly accurate and remotely controlled. The metal work on the four faces will be removed and refurbished. New glass will be installed, as well as new hands on all the faces. The 100-foot-high tower presents a challenging work environment but its stone facing is badly rust stained and will be cleaned.

The average life of a stained glass window is 100 years and the two magnificent examples in our Church sanctuary have held up remarkably well. Still, they need a considerable amount of refurbishment, including restoring their wooden frames, to ensure they will last another 100 years. The “Jesus and the Children” window was covered by an apartment building on William St. for many years so its wood framing is especially deteriorated. The windows were designed and built by Pike Stained Glass Studio in Rochester. William Pike was trained in Louis Tiffany’s studio in New York City. Pike’s great-niece, Valerie O'Hara, will supervise the refurbishment as sections of the window are removed and taken to the Pike Studio.

Valerie O'Hara presented a program Feb. 23 on stained glass windows, including remarks about the two magnificent ones in our sanctuary. Valerie traced the history of stained glass from 3000 BC to the present. Jim Spates, professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, later spoke on the history of architecture.

What remains to be done is work on the hands and drive shafts, install those and hook up the electric. The hands are cut out of aluminum and will be able to withstand 80mph wind.

To contribute to our capital campaign, please send a check with CAPITAL CAMPAIGN on the memo line to the address below, or click on Give Now for online giving:

First United Methodist Church 340 Main St 

Geneva, NY 14456