Here are some of my "best" church art pictures along with a little history. Click on any photo to see a larger view.
This image is from a window in the United Methodist Church at Albion. It's very common to find depictions of the Good Shepherd in churches; but most of them display Jesus in a field surrounded by several sheep. This one has him in an enclosure. I know of one more like it in Nebraska - at the First Baptist Church in downtown Omaha (below).
At left is Saint John's Lutheran Church, south of Lyons in Burt County. I took this on a cold, crisp day in February of 2010.
Below is the sanctuary window at First Presbyterian Church in O'Neill, Nebraska taken on February 14, 2011. These two photos appear in a book (order info):
I found this crucifix in the fellowship room at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Bellwood. To me it seems more historically correct than most.
Another unique crucifix can be found at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Omaha.
Many pipe organs are found in church balconies but usually in the rear of the nave. This one at First Trinity Lutheran in Bloomfield, Nebraska is toward the front and makes a very impressive picture when you enter the sanctuary.
Not the best photo I've taken. But it's special because you seldom see an altar like this in a United Methodist Church. The Danish Lutherans built this church in 1908 but in the 1940's it was sitting empty on Sundays. In 1949 the E.U.B. (now United Methodist) congregation lost their building to a fire.
In an act of ecumenicity the Lutherans gave their building away, statue and all. The church is in Elba, Nebraska.
Christ Lutheran Church is located about eight miles north of Columbus in Platte County. It has a pipe organ, great windows, and nicely decorated sanctuary, as well as a K-8 school and cemetery.
This is a million-dollar window. Seriously. My photography doesn't do it justice. It's a Tiffany window and there's a letter from about 1950 stating it's value is $500,000. Sixty years later it's probably inflated some.
You can see it in Falls City at First United Methodist.
I found this one in the nursery at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkhorn. The pastor said the artist used some of the local folks as models in this mural, which certainly qualifies as special.
Jacob Albright was the leader of the Evangelical group that became the "E" in the E.U.B. Church. He was also a brick maker and left his thumb print as a mark in some of those bricks. When the E.U.B. church in Ithaca was built one of their members secured an Albright brick and it was laid amongst the other bricks in the building.
The Albright brick is right above the cross in this picture
from the UnitedMethodist Church in Ithaca, Nebraska.
The swastika (from Sanskrit svástika स्वस्तिक) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing (卐) form or its mirrored left-facing (卍) form.
There is one in the facade of the United Methodist Church at Wahoo.
An example of how the late afternoon sun helps make a beautiful picture. This altar is in Saint Boniface's Catholic Church in Elgin, Nebraska.
One of the stations of the cross at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina, Kansas, which are etched into the cement walls. The afternoon sun and art glass windows really made the picture for me.
This window is really special. It was placed in the United Methodist Church at Hershey, Nebraska as a memorial to my Great Grandmother, Clara Houck Leypoldt.
This is the altar of the First Ev. Lutheran Church in Oakland, Nebraska.
Speaking of Oakland...this window is from the West Side United Methodist Church which closed in 1997. It is one of several West Side windows now in the Cuming County historical park in West Point, housed in a former German Lutheran building. It's very special to me because I was baptized under the watchful eye of God at West Side Church in 1948.
Just one of several Afro-centric windows in Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Omaha, Nebraska.
First Congregational Church in Ashland, Nebraska was hit by a tornado in the early 1950's. Though it has several stained glass windows only one was damaged: a round one above the worship center that contained the image of Jesus at prayer in Gethsemane. The window was completely blown out of it's frame but the face of Jesus was found in some outdoor shrubbery.
It was repaired and incorporated into a new window in their sanctuary.
This a picture of the tabernacle on the altar of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Atkinson. The large balcony window and the sanctuary lights are reflected on a marble wall behind the altar.
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in rural Bancroft, Nebraska has been beautifully maintained. In addition to a pipe organ, it has a pulpit fully six feet above the sanctuary floor and a wonderful German verse above the altar. It reads: "Glaube an den Herrn Jesum Christum, so wirst du selig."
At Bazile Mills in Knox County, Nebraska you will find Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. One of their windows celebrates the work of the great reformers Melancthon, Luther, and Bugenhagen.
Saints Peter and Paul Church is in Bow Valley, Nebraska, which is in the northeast corner of our state. The church has wonderful windows, statuary, and frescoes. Bow Valley is an unincorporated village.
Greater Beth El Temple in Omaha bought and remodeled a synagogue in 2005. This panoramic photo reveals the look of a cross-centered sanctuary.
Just lucky I suppose, but I photographed this altar at mid-morning one day. It's from the sanctuary of Salem Ev. Lutheran, west of Dakota City, Nebraska.
The artist was quite skillful in depicting Martha with an attitude. Jesus and sister Mary were having a nice little visit but Martha was occupied with other things that day. This window is in St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Bend, Nebraska.
Bronze sculpture at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Wichita, Kansas, produces a realistic view of Saints Mary and Joseph shortly before the birth of Jesus.
Here's the one that took my interest in church art to a higher level. The window is in the balcony so I was able to get up close and personal. As I focused in with my camera I began to see the eyes and faces of the children and woman in a new way. The artist did a wonderful job of demonstrating their wonder and devotion: I think they understood they were in the presence of something very special.
The window is in Salem Lutheran Church in Fontanelle, Nebraska.
It's most unusual to enter a Berean Fundamental Church and see some ornate windows in their sanctuary. This is one of several at the Fremont Berean Church, whose building was purchased when Trinity Lutheran moved to a new location.
How about this? One 4th of July evening I was determined to photograph some fireworks. After several unsuccessful attempts I gave up and took my camera and tripod around the Nebraska Wesleyan campus to take a few shots.
Across the street south of First United Methodist I accidentally caught a pretty nice picture of both the church and a rocket's red glare!
This is our church home. In 2014 we remodeled our chancel and restored our pipe organ. I took this picture during Advent later that year.
This is the coolest portrait of Jesus I've ever seen. It's in the narthex of Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in south Lincoln. I've also seen it at Covenant Presbyterian in west Omaha.
I love this portrait of Mary and Jesus. It's from Saint Mary's Episcopal Church in Nebraska City, which was the original Episcopal Cathedral in Nebraska. I've seen this image in several Catholic churches since and have learned that the original is in the Sistine Chapel and was painted by Raphael.
A pretty classy image of King David in Saint John's Greek Orthodox Church in Omaha. This building was originally a Jewish synagogue.
This window is in the United Church at Pender, Nebraska. There's some great symbolism here and the morning sun was just perfect!
This photo was taken at St. John the Baptist Church in Pender during the noon hour. The baptism window is located above the main entrance to the church and the glass and crucifix are in the narthex. The window was projected by the sun onto the glass in the narthex, which was really special.
This one is just extraordinary. It adorns the narthex of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Sioux City and depicts the Ascension of Christ.
It appears that Jesus is actually waving to his followers and friends as he departs.
It's special because at First Lutheran it is the last image you see as you leave the sanctuary.