Bellbrook Presbyterian Church

72 West Franklin St., Bellbrook, OH 45305

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The Chandelier

  "And behold – a light shone above" A beautiful surprise welcomed those who ventured into the damp darkness Christmas Eve - the glowing radiance of our Church’ original chandelier. It had been gone for so many years that only a few of our senior members remember seeing it hanging and there it was glowing warmly for all of us to enjoy.                                                                                                                                                                   

It’s restoration and installation was a gift to us from Dave Hodson and "Mo" Hodson families. They found it last spring while cleaning the belfry and decided they’d like to take on the "little" project of restoring the lamp as a surprise for the congregation on Christmas Eve.

The little project turned out to be a more of an undertaking than they had anticipated. It was in many pieces and the iron was rusty under the chipped gold paint. But, oh, how the pigeons had loved it.

It first had to be sandblasted and then put together with solid brass fittings that were miraculously all there. Next it was painted and the search began for the glass parts that were missing. After many inquiries they went to the lamp shop in Centerville where the owner recognized it’s beauty and became very enthused with the nice idea of this gift to the Church. She helped select the appropriate chimneys and frosted satin glass shades and then personally phone the company to rush the special order. They arrived three days before Christmas Eve.

Then came the task of installing it. A log chain was purchased, painted black and securely attached to the ceiling and chandelier. For safety purposes it was decided that it shouldn’t be hung by the method that had originally been used (a large whiskey barrel filled with rocks was in the belfry to act as a counterweight – the old wooden pulleys area still there – but instead permanently bolted. A ladder would have to be used to light the kerosene.

All of this was completed and behold, on Christmas Eve 1978 – THERE WAS LIGHT – warm flickering light from a lovely chandelier over one hundred years old that had nearly been forgotten except for the thoughtfulness and hard work of these people.

Rev. James Henkel was our minister at the time.

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