Thankfully, no. Just after the Metro Times reported on the plight of a historic downtown Detroit church and its struggle to preserve aging stained-glass windows, we learned that one of those windows had been stolen. Our collective heart sank at the thought that the report published on April 21 had inspired thieves to snatch the valuable glass. We confess to feeling relief to learn that the theft occurred the day before the article came out. Nonetheless, our relief does nothing to mitigate the church’s loss.
The window was stolen from Pilgrim Church/I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministries, which was known until 1992 as Trumbull Avenue Presbyterian.
It is the last remaining Venetian Gothic-style church remaining in the city. Since August, Pastor Henry Covington and his congregation have been trying to raise $54,000 to restore their stained-glass windows. Wooden frames supporting the windows are rotting, aged leading is weakening, and protective storm windows are needed.
Now what’s most needed is the window’s return.
According to Detective Mark Quain of the Third Precinct, an eyewitness reported seeing thieves leaving the scene in an older model maroon Jaguar that had damage to the front end. The suspects are believed to be two African-American males, one a slimly built older man standing about 5-foot-9 and the other a little shorter with thinning hair, approximately 35 years old.
The identity of at least one suspect appears to be known.
“People around here seem to know who he is, but they are afraid of him,” says Covington.
The pastor says thieves broke into the church’s snack shop area, where sound and video equipment are also stored. “They didn’t take anything else, just the window,” says Covington, adding, “and they helped themselves to one can of soda.”
This is not the first time windows have been filched from the church. Several were stolen in 1973. They eventually turned up at three different antique shops — two in Detroit and one in Boston — and were returned to the church.
The church plans summer concerts to raise money for its restoration project. With luck, there will be a full complement of windows to save. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the windows is asked to contact Detective Quain at 313-596-5340.Contact News Hits at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com