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Keith Jones removes the glass windows at the old St. Ann Catholic Church. The windows may be kept in storage for years before being installed at the churchís worship addition, which has not yet been built.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Keith Jones removes the glass windows at the old St. Ann Catholic Church. The windows may be kept in storage for years before being installed at the churchís worship addition, which has not yet been built.

Preserving windows
at St. Annís

Century-old memorial stained glass wasnít part of sale of church

By Melanie B. Smith
msmith@decaturdaily.com ∑ 340-2468

At the old St. Ann Catholic Church building in downtown Decatur, workers carefully removed stained glass this month.

The signature windows arenít being sold, although the building is. The 29 windows are being temporarily stored at the recently constructed Catholic facility on Spring Avenue Southwest, said Jan Gile, director of religious education for the parish, now named Annunciation of the Lord.

The parish built a family center, school and office and relocated in 2003. Future plans include a worship addition that incorporates the decorative windows.

The church building on Johnston Street Southeast has been for sale since the parish moved. New Genesis Community Church has leased the building for years. The congregation will eventually move but has no deadline, said the Rev. Sam Rice, co-pastor.

Gile said the stained glass windows are being removed because of a pending sale. When the century-old building went up for sale, church officials said that the windows would not go to the new owner.

Most of the windows are memorials, Gile said. Some were added when the church went through renovation in 1985, she said.

Birmingham Art Glass removed the stained glass and replaced them with clear glass windows.

The new windows added character to the building and will be missed, Rice said, but New Genesis knew all along of the churchís plan to remove them.

The old windows may stay in storage for years, Gile said, because Annunciation does not plan to build the worship building until the first facility is paid off.

Church officials did not want to release details about the sale of the St. Ann building but expect closing in May. McLain Real Estate in Huntsville is handling the sale.

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