Windows On Our World

January 2023 | Written by Maribeth Griessel

      A new year, a new title, a new series of articles. Window…it can be taken literally or figuratively. Obviously a window is an opening, providing a view into or out of a building. But it can also offer an understanding, an historical glimpse of Gashland–who we are, where we come from, how we got here, and ultimately, where we are going.

     Through the coming year, “Windows On Our World” will provide some history of our church as a physical edifice, a location, as well as our congregation, Christ’s bride, His Church. And each month we will also learn about its literal windows, featuring in each issue one or more of Gashland’s iconic stained glass windows.  What picture is centered in each window? What does it mean for us? Hopefully this series will also demonstrate the ways GEPC has grown through the years in the area of  service, which will be a developing theme and goal for our church this year.

     It seems appropriate to begin “Windows” with our Lord Jesus, our Alpha and Omega. Those attending the 8:30 worship service in the Sanctuary on Sunday mornings gaze on a beautiful round window proclaiming the message from the Greek alphabet as found in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” This window, known as the “Rose Window,” was donated as a memorial by the wife and sons of James Froman, who pastored Gashland for 20 years. Rev. Froman lived in Trimble, MO, and traveled to Gashland on the Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Railroad every Saturday afternoon. After preaching the Sunday morning service, he took the train back home.

      As we delve into the history of Gashland, we will be privileged to work with a few individuals who have been long time members here, who will share invaluable insight with us as to the origin not only of our church, but of Gashland as a location. Who was Joseph Gash, who moved into Clay County in 1820? Where and when did Barry Cumberland Presbyterian Church come into existence? When was the current building erected and from where was the stone quarried for it?

      Marian Anderson, a member since April, 1951, will be a primary resource for this series of articles.  “The real memories of this church are in the lives of the people who came here to worship, to teach Sunday School, to learn from Scriptures and to pray,” she explained.  “We are indebted to those who were the first members and those who have worshiped with us for awhile and then have moved on to other places.  I look forward to the future with great expectation, and am thankful that I am a part of this body.”  And we can look forward to some fascinating historical information Marion will be sharing with us.

      Another individual who has agreed to assist with “Windows On Our World” is Martha Kuenzi, who, along with her late husband Dr. Donald Kuenzi, has been a faithful member of Gashland for a good many years.  She explained, “What God wanted us to do was to have fellowship with one another and to worship together.  We are brothers and sisters in Christ, a family.  We’re here to learn and to grow in the Word, to reach out to others.  That’s why missions have always been so important at our church.”

      Hopefully this “preview of coming attractions” has whetted your appetite for this new, continuing series detailing Gashland’s founding and development.