Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in St. Louis decided that they had too many stained glass white images of Jesus for their multicultural church. According to Pastor Mike Angell, the membership is 40% black. They hired Emil Frei and Associates, a 124 year old stained glass company that has served more than 7000 churches around the world, for the job. One requirement on the contract was for the stained glass company to hire Cbabi Bayoc, a black painter and muralist, to design the windows. Angell says that Emil Frei was initially hesitant to honor the request since Boyoc had never worked with stained glass before.
Aaron Frei, president of the company, said that it was fun to be wrong. Bayoc designed a window with Jesus with an afro that forms a halo around his head. The image also includes “Jesus’ palms extended outward and Mary Magdalene has long, sweeping braids that melt into a river of living water with her fist raised”. According to Bayoc, the image is inspired by and is a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion hopes that the image will be one of four windows created by Bayoc to outline the biblical road to salvation. They are currently trying to raise money to cover the expenses.