In 1989, funds were donated anonymously for a new contemporary bell tower to be placed in the courtyard in a specially landscaped area. It was built to house the solid cast brass bell that had been refurbished by Jan Bass through the
Bass & Hays Foundry. The bell was cast by H. Stuckstede & Co. in 1889 which made its new appearance an appropriate 100th birthday marker. The bell was given to St. Andrew's around 1960 by Carlyle Smith, Sr., who was offered the bell by a friend if he could find a use for it. Fr. Holliday accepted the gift, and it has been rung by St. Andrew's numerous times since then as a call to worship.
Mosaics, though common in ancient churches, are rare in contemporary churches which make this artwork especially significant. Designed by Roland Miranda, this mosaic of inlaid ceramic tile symbolizes the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The cross of bricks incorporated into the east wall of the Narthex has a unique history. As was the custom when congregations did not have any money, members tried to raise enough to make the down payment on the church. The building fund for the new church building was started with a "Feast of Bricks" as noted in the church history. A large number of bricks were offered to anyone willing to raise $100 for each one. At a special service three months later the "Ingathering of the Bricks" established the building fund.
When the church was built, a certain number of these bricks were embedded into the Narthex wall to form the 'cross. As many more bricks were sold than used, only Father Fox knew for sure whose bricks were actually placed there, ... and he never told!
Stained glass was originally used in churches in medieval times. At that time it was not used so much for decoration in churches and cathedrals but rather as a way of teaching illiterate people. Few persons in medieval Europe could read and write, so the stained glass told the stories of the church in pictures. The same was true of the ancient tapestries and murals. Today, stained glass in churches and cathedrals continues to tell religious stories in pictures and, as in medieval times, enhances the beauty of places of worship.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's The Rev. Mark Holliday set about the task of replacing the plain glass windows with the beautiful stained glass that is such an integral part of the beauty of St. Andrew's. Father Holliday interviewed three stained glass companies before awarding the commission to Smith's Stained Glass Studios of Fort Worth. Faceted glass was chosen as the medium to complement the contemporary architecture of the church, and many weeks were spent by Father Holliday and Smith's Studios in coordinating the design phase of this great artistic endeavor. Each of the windows was donated as a memorial in a grand outpouring of generosity by the membership of St. Andrew's.
Descriptive details of individual windows are given in sequence with the amplification on each section of the church building.
This lovely chapel that has become so endearing to many who come here to pray was originally intended as a shrine to the Blessed Virgin. However, at the time the church was built, there was much debate between the "high" and "low" churchmen as to the suitability of a shrine at St. Andrew's. The philosophy of the "low" churchmen prevailed, and what was planned as a shrine was called the children's chapel. The Walsingham Chapel is sometimes referred to as "The Lady" Chapel.
The prie-dieu and hanging lamp were custom-made for the Walsingham Chapel by Vick Gill. a retired metal worker in Athens, Texas. A dear friend of The Rev. Mark Holliday, he was a member of the parish in Athens where Father Holliday was Rector before coming to St. Andrew's. The needlepoint covering the prie-dieu was created by Ann Damron as part of the "Communion of Saints" needlepoint project. Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, the crafted symbols include the letters of the name "Maria" in ancient monogram. Violets and lilies of the valley represent humility while the blue background is the color of St. Mary.
Each of the windows of stained glass in the Walsingham Chapel represents devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and events in her life:
On the east wall of the chapel stands the columbarium which was purchased in 1992. It was designed by Liturgical Designs in Hurst and manufactured by Solomon Company in Arlington as an eight-by-five foot, fifty-unit structure that incorporated cast bronze face plates with symbols of the resurrection. The plates are engraved with names designating the final resting place of those whose ashes are placed there. The Rev. Charles Hough guided the construction and placement of the columbarium so that it would be a quiet and appropriate Christian memorial for members and friends of St. Andrew's Parish.
A plaque near the columbarium with a rubbing from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, was presented to the church at the special Eucharist on February II, 1996, marking St. Andrew's fiftieth year. It was given by Clyde and Vema Bargsley in honor of Thomas Frederick Fanning, Jr., the first communicant of St. Andrew's to die in the service of his country. Freddy was the younger son of Fred' and Lucie Fanning, devoted parishioners for many years until their deaths. He was an acolyte and participated in many youth activities.
The Baptismal Font designed by Roland Miranda, whose creative talents arc evidenced on art objects throughout the church, was one of the first acquisitions for the church commissioned by The Rev. William H. Fox. It was given by the youth group of St. Andrew's. The marble basin was mounted on a pedestal of white oak and placed in the Baptistery; it contained a silver stopper and a drain that allowed the blessed water to flow directly into the earth. The wood was stained by Clyde Bargsley in the late 1970's to match the refurbishing of other woodwork in the church. It was moved in recent years to a spot more prominent in the church as the Sacrament of Baptism became more a part of public worship than a private family ritual.
Each stained glass window in the Baptistry depicts ancient symbols of Baptism or Resurrection:
The majesty of the nave of the church is heightened by the magnificent stained glass panels which dominate the north wall of the church. The panels depict the four evangelists, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John:
The statue of St. Andrew that overlooks the congregation from a column on the right-hand side of the nave while the congregation is at worship is a Faithcraft statue made ,in London and purchased and donated by Father Mark Holliday. The Greek icon lamp is a tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church as a symbol of devotion.
The lectern of contemporary motif to represent the cross of St. Andrew was designed by Roland Miranda and constructed of solid white oak and was used originally as both lectern and pulpit. Later, a pulpit was added in memory of Mark Steven Proper by his parents and featured a crucifix on the front hand carved by Stanley House. When a pulpit more in keeping with the contemporary style of the St. Andrew's cross lectern was executed by Mr. Miranda, the Proper pulpit was given to St. Joseph's Church in Grand Prairie.
The Stations of the Cross on the north and south walls of the nave were done in lead in 1963 to match the Chris/us Rex. The lead was melted in a cauldron on the stove in the parish hall with the help of Pat Young and Ronald Marlowe and poured into plaster molds made by Jim Hodges. The red numbers alongside the crosses were made by Pat Young and painted by Ken Terrell. In 1986 under the guidance of Father Robinson, Elwood and Esther Gerlitski provided beautiful new hand carved stations depicting the passion of Christ. This gift was a thank offering from two members who have served St. Andrew's faithfully and devotedly for many years, Esther as church secretary for sixteen years and Elwood as church treasurer.
The solid brass paschal candle stand was found by former church secretary Maxine Palmer in an antique store in Abilene, Texas. It is used at Easter to hold the Paschal Candle; the remainder of the year it is used at baptisms and at funerals.
The clerestory windows on the south wall highlight the dimensions of the nave and use variations of color in the stained glass rather than a specific theme except for one:
The stained glass panels in the outside doors to the Narthex also fit in with the color variations of the clerestory windows.
The chapel altar made of two large pieces of Texas limestone was designed by Roland Miranda as a complement to the limestone front on the high altar at that time. Called the “Altar of Repose” it was given by E. H. and Mary Wright as a memorial to Mary's father. The base is flared as if hands raised toward God, and the heavy top fits on with keys. It replaced the old oak altar which had been moved from the original frame church building into the chapel. The oak altar was then placed in the educational building in the children's chapel where it was used for a preschool age service for a number of years before being moved to St. Joseph's Church.
The silver Tabernacle in the center of the chapel altar was purchased in Paris, France, at Cheret where world-renowned ecclesiastical goods are made. The red enamel Chi-rho on the Tabernacle is a symbol of our Lord formed from the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ.
A crucifix of walnut with aluminum was designed and made for the chapel by The Rev. Pat Young, a former member of St. Andrew's who later became a priest. In November, 1993, it was replaced by a crucifix purchased from House of Hansen in Chicago. Hand carved in Germany the new cross is 24" long with a corpus of 12". The former crucifix was moved to a place over the chapel door that leads to the courtyard.
The stained glass windows in the chapel represent the five minor sacraments:
The painting of Mary Magdalene on the west wall is a valuable hand-painted copy of the original by an unknown Renaissance artist which hangs in the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, Italy. She is depicted holding an alabaster box containing ointment which she used to anoint our Lord.
The sanctuary is that space between the altar rail and the east wall. The original High Altar was a table made of white oak given by Nocona and J. D. Perkins and was placed against the reredos. At a later date it was covered with limestone donated by Boyd Ridgway, Jr., and that style was carried over to the chapel altar. Both were designed by Roland Miranda. Still later, because of changing practices in celebrating the Eucharist, the altar was moved away from the wall and became freestanding.
The celebrated artist and sculptor, Octavio Medellin, has also played a distinguished and acclaimed part in decorating the sanctuary. Raised in San Antonio, Medellin came to prominence in Dallas where he taught at the Dallas Museum of Art. He studied at the Guggenheim in New York and spent two years in the Yucatan of Mexico. In the 1950's he lived in Grand Prairie and was the friend and neighbor of Roland and Mary Miranda, who introduced him to Father Fox. As late as 1987 he worked from his studio in Kerrville.
Father Fox commissioned Medellin in 1953 to create the Chris/us Rex as a gift to St. Andrew's. Made of S' x 4' sheets of I/S" lead hammered into shape, the Chris/us Rex represents our risen Lord reigning in glory in Eucharistic vestments as the Eternal Priest. The maniple across the left arm symbolizes the napkin that deacons in the early church used in their table ministrations. He is shown rising from an empty cross with hands extended in blessing above the anus of the cross. The crown of thorns on his head has taken the shape of a kingly crown and the nail holes in the hands and feet are evident. When completed, the Chris/us Rex was so acclaimed that it was exhibited during the State Fair of Texas at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts on the fairgrounds and was requested to be placed on a national tour of Medellin's work. It was installed in the church sometime in 1955.
In 1978 Mr. Medellin was again called upon to create a distinctive work for St. Andrew's. The High Altar is the focal point of the church because it is the focal point of the liturgy. The central act of Christian worship is the Holy Eucharist, the sacred meal through which the people of God are continually nourished by the body and blood of Christ. Through a generous gift by the C. P. Waggoner family, Octavio created "The Altar of the Angels" which has a top of rare pink Georgian marble supported by stylized angel wings made of lead and finished with gold leaf. Soon the credence table and candlesticks, also by Medellin, were donated by Bud and Myrle Clark to complete the continuity of the altar artwork.
In the late 1970's KERA-TV, the Public Broadcasting Station for North Texas on Channel 13, did a documentary on the works of Octavio Medellin. The sculpture at St. Andrew's was prominently featured in this documentary that aired on PBS stations throughout the United States.
The stained glass window on the north wall of the sanctuary was given in thanksgiving for the pastorate of The Rev. Mark G. Holliday at St. Andrew's. The abstract design is specifically meant to allow the viewer to interpret its meaning in a personal way. The lighter colors of glass were used in order to allow sunlight to flood the sanctuary.
The President's Chair (or Bishop's Chair) and the two attendants' chairs were designed by Roland Miranda and were constructed of solid white oak.
The original sterling silver chalice, lavabo, paten, and host bread box were donated to St. Andrew's by Sam and Daisy McIlhenny, the same founding parishioners who donated the land on which the church was built. The large chalice and ciborium were custom-made by Louis Glasier, New York silversmith, of hammered sterling and were given by many individuals in small memorial donations.
The original processional cross and. torches were designed by The Rev. Pat Young and made of cast aluminum. The cross represented the Christmas star combined with a cross. The corpus, bought by Father Holliday at the Salvation Anny Store in Chicago when he was a seminarian, was silver-plated and attached to the cross. A more recent acquisition is the solid brass proCessional cross purchased by St. Elizabeth's Altar Guild along with matching torches, a brass Sanctus Bell, and a thurible and incense boat from C. J. Almy & Son. The Resurrection processional cross combines a beautiful hand carved and hand painted wooden figure of Christ the King mounted on an elegant brass cross. The matching torches are distinguished by a simple 7" wide bobeche.
The St. Andrew Banner was designed and crafted by Robert Gaspard Co., Inc., in ivory monk's cloth and was donated by Barbara and Johnny Price in 1992.
The icon of Christ the Teacher hanging above the credence' table was painted by Shar Purcell, noted liturgical artist from Ft. Worth. It was purchased by Father Hough from the memorial fund in honor of Phyllis Matlock Smith, founding member of the parish, who spent many, many years as a Church School teacher, storyteller, and leader of the children's chapel service for preschool-age Sunday School students.
The first needlepoint created for St. Andrew's was a banner designed by Fr. Mark Holliday and hand-crafted by Mae Greenlee representing St. Andrew, the fisherman and apostle. It was hung in the conference room for safe keeping in recent years.
In 1978 acolyte hassocks, chair cushions, and the prie-dieu cover in the sanctuary were designed and created by Helen Carr, directress of the altar guild, in a Christmas rose motif on a blue background.
The latest addition to the needlepoint at St. Andrew's began in August, 1985, when a needlepoint group was formed. Under the direction of Ouida Smith, thirty churchwomen and Fr. Fred Robinson worked diligently over the next two years to complete an extensive altar needlepoint project. Father Robinson selected the theme, "The Communion of Saints." Sally Harrell of Stitchcraft Plus in Austin. Texas, was chosen as the designer because of her vast experience in ecclesiastical needlepoint. The finished needlepoint pieces were made into hassocks by Ruth Gatlin and her staff at Custom Needlepoint Finishing in Austin.
The center of each hassock represents an individual saint; the border of each hassock was designed to reflect the same faceted glass look as the stained glass windows while giving a smooth flow of continuity from piece to piece. In the sanctuary the twelve apostles are represented. Saint Mary, the Virgin, occupies a place of honor at the center of the altar rail in front of the gates. Beginning on the lcft side of the altar rail, each
hassock honors a saint from each century, the first through the twentieth. Auxiliary pieces include the Walsingham Chapel Prie-dieu, the wedding kneeler, the President's or Bishop's Chair, the St. Andrew Chair, the Episcopal Shield Chair, the pulpit antependium, and bookmarks and book covers.