Just over a year after a devastating fire shut down St. Mary Catholic Church in Massillon, Ohio, beautiful stained glass windows — some as tall as 60-feet — have finally been restored. Best of all, a member of the original two-man crew who installed them was there to see the final product.
Bob Graber, now 92-years-old, was part of the original crew to install the gorgeous stained glass panels that depict the miracles and mysteries studied in the Church.
The windows, designed by an artist in France, were installed almost 50 years ago.
When Graber walked into the church and saw his work back up, he said the panels were “as beautiful as they’ve ever been.”
However, that’s not the only contribution Graber has made to the church.
In addition to installing the stained glass windows, Graber built the altar, pulpit, lectern, as well as various other woodwork and projects around the church.
While OSHA 1926.1402 guidelines may not have been at place at the time Graber was performing construction, he certainly did a large part to help the church.
In 2001, he even built a small, detailed wooden model of the church that took him over 600 hours to complete. The model even had a removable roof so viewers could look in on the interior.
While Graber’s church has just been restored, another has miraculously avoided damage altogether.
St. Mark Church of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina managed to escape damage from all of the flood waters that surrounded it.
Pastor Alton Smith could only look on with hope and fear as the flood waters rose.
“We were just hoping and praying that it wouldn’t not rise to get in the sanctuary,” he said.
After having just finished a multi-million dollar renovation, both the pastor and the 800 patrons of the church were tremendously relieved to see the building had gone undamaged.
Smith and members of the church are calling it a miracle, and it would seem that the situation is nothing short of just that.
The damage surrounding the church was so concerning that even Gov. Pat McCrory expressed relief at not having lost another place of worship.
It’s hard to imagine the relief and happiness that Graber must have felt upon seeing his hard work in St. Mary Catholic Church restored after such a devastating fire nearly destroyed it.