Cross Window

The story behind the stained glass.

By Paula Minges

I was on the interior committee when the new sanctuary was built. As discussions were raised about what the window that faces the road should look like, I told my mother, Alyce Minges, all about it. We were excited, and of course everything about the church at that time was exciting. But the window facing the road sounded really special.

Mama and I decided to donate the funds for the cross window in memory of her husband and my father, Herman S. Minges. I think he would have loved that idea. I think of him and mama when I’m singing in the choir and look up to see that beautiful cross.

Someone has asked what the keys mean, and they are a reference to Matthew 16:19 where Jesus says He will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. There was actually a council vote on what to put in the middle of the cross, either the Lutheran rose or the keys. I liked the idea of the rose but the keys make sense because it is Saint Peter Lutheran Church.

My mother wasn’t always a Lutheran and not always from here. She and my father lived in Lumberton, NC and had a second home in what was then called Long Beach but today you know it as Oak Island. They built it in 1975 and would attend Saint Peter when they were in town, and continued until their deaths. We lost my daddy in 1999, the year before the new sanctuary was built, and my mama in 2007. In Lumberton they were members of Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church, beginning in the 1950s.

So how did mama become a Lutheran? Well my father’s family were Lutherans out of Rocky Mount, NC and were very active in the church. His mother even played the organ, and she had one at home for practice. When my parents were married, mama asked daddy which church they would attend in Lumberton. His answer was, “…you’re kidding, right!?” And mama became a Lutheran!

I think his parents approved because when she got older, Grandma Minges donated her organ to Saint Mark’s.

Archival photo provided by Natalie Sinclair

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