Go Ye Therefore and Teach All Nations
Referred to as the Ascension window, the ninth in this series is also representative of the great Christian missionary movement. Jesus, whose monogram IHS appears in the clouds above, is seen as he ascends into heaven, while laying on the disciples below His great commission to go and teach all nations. This call to spread the gospel is further symbolized by the presence of the globe, the Holy Bible and the lamp of learning.
285 years prior to the completion of our present-day church, a small congregation of Albany Lutherans gathered in the first meeting house (1669 or 1670), at what is now the west side of South Pearl Street, between Beaver and Howard Street. On this same location over 100 years later, the congregation, now called the Lutheran Ebenezer Church, built a new edifice using stones from old Fort Frederick (now the site of the State Capitol), The word Ebenezer is a derivative from the Hebrew, meaning “stone of help:’ The congregation adopted the English language during the period this 1786 edifice was in use. In 1796 the council minutes were recorded for the first time in English, an English Lutheran liturgy and hymnal was introduced in 1808, and the next four years marked the transition from German to English preaching.
Philip Hooker, the well-known architect, was commissioned to plan the 1816-68 edifice at Pine and Lodge Streets. By the end of the Civil War, it was becoming renowned for its spire which, due to settling of the foundation of the church, was taking on an appearance similar to that of the leaning tower of Pisa.
The first seal of the City of Albany, the monogram ALB surmounted by the British crown, dates from our first city charter in 1686.
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