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John La Farge Stained Glass

Michigan: Resurrection Promise Church

The Good Knight

The Good Knight, c 1899. Boynton Memorial window. Formerly in Detroit, now Yale University Art Gallery.

Resurrection Promise Church
(Formerly the First Unitarian Church of Detroit)
Abandoned, and burned in 2014


Four large windows by John La Farge were formerly in the Resurrection Promise Church (formerly First Unitarian Church of Detroit), a stolid stone Romanesque church designed by architects Donaldson and Meier. The church was built between 1889-90, and was abandoned and burned in 2014; the windows are located in museums. A triptych of memorial windows was donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts as early as 1959, and another window is in the Yale University Art Gallery.

The three windows in the DIA collection were formerly in the west façade of the building, and memorialized three former trustees of the church.[1] These windows were installed for the opening of the church in 1890. The far-left round-arched lancet window, The Helping Angel, is dedicated to Royal Clark Remick (1812-78). The middle pair of windows depicts Faith and Hope, and is dedicated to Charles Merrill (1792--1872). The far-right memorial window honors John Judson Bagley (1832-81) with an image of an angel deciding the fate of a man of faith.[2]

A fourth window, called The Good Knight, was added later at the north side of the church, and is dedicated to Albert Grenville Boynton. It was designed in 1899, and dedicated in 1903; it is now in the Yale University Art Gallery, a gift from Alison and William Vareika in honor of Jean and David Wallace in 2009.




[1] Joyce K. Schiller "’A Deep Dream of Peace’: John La Farge's Memorial Windows for the First Unitarian Church, Detroit,” Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Vol. 75, No. 2 (2001), pp. 26-37.

[2] Ibid., 34.

Michigan: Resurrection Promise Church