Second Presbyterian Church


Second Presbyterian Church

318 E. 55th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64113


IMG_0147From 1865 to 1915, The Second Presbyterian Church occupied buildings at several downtown Kansas City locations, beginning with the first church at 809 Wyandotte. The congregation survived and flourished in the early years despite many setbacks, including a fire which destroyed the church building and manse at 13th and Central and continuing shifts in population. Realizing the need to follow the population further south, in 1916 Second Presbyterian settled in one of Kansas City’s first suburbs at 55th Street, between Brookside Blvd. and Oak Streets, where it makes its home today.

Second’s Historic Building

IMG_0131The first unit of Second’s present structure was erected in 1916 (the side chapel or south wing of the church is now called the transept). The sanctuary was completed in 1917. The tower was enlarged and chimes installed in 1924 and the educational wing was built in 1956. The remodeling of the sanctuary, with installation of the new organ, complete rebuilding of the chancel and provision of the new stained glass windows, was finished in 1949.  All of the windows are by Henry Lee Willett except for The “Ford” Window – (The Good Samaritan– by Tiffany) and the “Tough” Window- (Dorcas, the Servant Disciple – by J & R Lamb). The names of the designers of stained glass window are often unknown, but the designer of  Dorcas,  the Servant Disciple is clearly indicated as W. B. Hoover.

The “Ford” Window (The Good Samaritan) is located  in the rear of the church, at the east end of the nave.

Good Samaritan Window

Good Samaritan Window

 In Memory of Henry Thornton Ford

The one who showed mercy….Go and do likewise.  Luke 10:33, 10:37

Fabricated  by Tiffany Studios Installed in 1917

Designer unknown

 The “Tough” Window (Dorcas, the Servant Disciple )


In Memory of Harriet Abernathy Tough

Acts 9:36

Designed  by W.B. Hoover and fabricated  J & R Lamb.   Installed in 1917



The Rose Window of the Resurrection

A Memorial to Frank C. King by the King Bible Class for Men

Mark 16:6; I Corinthians 15:4: , 20; John 14:19.

The Rose Window high above the communion table depicts five symbols of the resurrection derived from Christian tradition.  These are the blooming lily, the butterfly,  peacock, the Phoenix bird and the pomegranate.

[Image not available at present]

Windows of the Nave

Windows of the nave, the main part of the sanctuary, contain symbols representing the long, progressive sweep of Bible history.  Three large windows on the south wall portray the Old Testament; the five windows on the north wall depict the New Testament.

On the South Side, Rear Window

The Beginnings of Bible History


 A Memorial to Mrs. Nellie C. Schell  by her daughter, Catharine S. Phillips

Upper Left   God the Creator

God the Creator

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1







Lower Left   The Fall of Man

The Fall of Man: The serpent and tree with fruit

Then the Lord God said to the woman…  Genesis 3:13







Center   The Ten Commandments


And God gave to Moses…  Exodus 20:1 and 31:18







Upper Right   The Deluge: Noah’s Ark


And Noah …went into the ark…  Genesis 7:7







Lower Right    The Tower of Babel                                                      


There the Lord confused the language of all the earth…          

 Genesis 11:4—11:9



On the South side, Center Window

The Judges and the Kings

IMG_0022 copy

A Memorial to Robert T. Morrison

Upper Left    Gideon: Fleece and Bowl of Water      

 IMG_0029then I shalt know that thou wilt deliver Israel     Judges 6:38

Lower Left   Conquest of Canaan


…and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes

Numbers 13:23

Center   David : Harp and Shepherd’s Staff


Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse…and the Lord is with him.

1 Samuel 16:23

Upper Right   Solomon’s Temple


I will establish my word with you…   1 Kings: 5:5

Lower Right   Ruth: Sheaf of Wheat Gleaned From the Field


Let me glean and gather among the sheaves… Ruth 2:7

 On the South Side, Front Window  

The Prophets


A Memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Porter

Upper Left    Elijah: Chariot of Fire


And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven 2 Kings 2:11

 Lower Left    Jeremiah: Budding Rod and Stone of Martyrdom


Jeremiah, what do you see?    Jeremiah 1: 11-12

Center   Isaiah: Tongs and Coals from the Altar and Instrument of Martyrdom


…your guilt is taken away  and your sin forgiven     Isaiah  6:6

Upper Right   Daniel: Lion


My God has sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths…  Daniel 6:21

 Lower Right   Amos: Shepherd’s Staff


…and the Lord said to me “Go prophesy to my people Israel”    Amos 7: 15

 On the North Side, Rear Window 

The Nativity


      A Memorial to Frederick McCoy Johnson      


Upper Right   The Annunciation: Dove of the Holy Spirit and the Lily of Purity

IMG_0059  The Holy Spirit will come upon you        Luke 1:35

Lower Right   The Visit of the Wise Men


Gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh      Matthew  2:11

Center   The Birth of the Saviour


The manger and the star    Luke 2:7

Upper Left    The Presentation in the Temple:


Sacrificial doves  in a cage     Luke 2:24

 Lower Left    The Flight into Egypt:


Pyramids and palms     Matthew 2:14

  On the North Side, Next to the Rear Window

 The Childhood and Early Ministry of Jesus  


A Memorial to Grant Stauffer Donated by Business Associates

Upper Right   The Carpenter Shop 


A saw, hammer and square     Mark 6:3

Lower Right   Christ in the Temple: Lamp of Knowledge and Scrolls


…and all who heard him were amazed     Luke 2:47

Center   The Baptism: Dove of the Holy Spirit and Fountain of Water

Baptism Dove of the Holy Spirit

Thou art My beloved Son     Mark 1:10

Upper left  The Temptation: Tempter, stones, temple, mountain


Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness    Mathew 4:1

Lower Left   The Call of the Fishermen: Fish, nets, boats


Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men    Mark 1:18

North Side, Center Window  

 The Parables


A Memorial to Viola Means Ellison

Upper Right   The Sower: Birds, Rocks, Thorns, and Fruit in Good Ground


He taught them many things in parables     Mark 4:3

Lower Right   The Ten Virgins: Five Burning Lamps and Five Lamps without Oil


Five of them were foolish, and five were wise     Matthew 25:2

Center   The Lost Sheep: Sheep Found by the Good Shepherd and a Staff


What man of you…does not …go after the one which is lost?    Luke 15:4

Upper Left   The Prodigal Son: The Fatted Calf Served at a Feast


Bring the fatted calf… for this my son was dead, and is alive again.   Luke 15:23-24

  Lower Left   The Lost Coin: Lamp, Broom, and Coin


If she loses one coin, does not light a lamp     Luke 15:8

North Side, Next to Front Window

Christ’s Ministry  


 Memorial to Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Tschudy, Fred Tschudy, Robert H. Tschudy,  Charles Henry Goudie, and Robert Frederic Goudie

Upper Right   Healing the Sick


The Master’s hand and sick person rising     Mark 1:34

Lower Right    The Feeding of the Five Thousand


Loaves and fishes     John 6:9

 Center    The Sermon on the Mount


God’s sending hand, a mountain and  the lamp of truth     Matthew 5:1

Upper left   Raising the Dead


Lazarus rising from the grave     John 11:44

Lower Left   The Triumphal Entry


Palm branches     John: 12:13

                             North Side, Front Window                                       

Events in the Early Christian Church


 A Memorial to John William Gregg

 Upper Right       The Ascension


The pierced feet of Christ ascending from the mount to the clouds   Acts 1:9

Lower right   The Conversion of Paul


The sword of the spirit and the lightning bolt     Acts 9:3

Center    Pentecost


 Dove of the Holy Spirit, rushing wind, tongues of fire    Acts 2:3

Upper Left   The Missionary Church


 Ship under sail, emblem of the cross     Acts 13:14

Lower Left   The Holy City


 Towers of New Jerusalem, a river and tree of life      Revelation 21:2 and 22:2

The Transept Windows

The Youth Window: Showing Christian education  through teaching and recreation.



The Founders Window: Showing a portrait of the founding pastor, Dr. Timothy Hill, and an illustration of the original building at 809  Wyandotte, Kansas City (1865-1915).



Praise  God Windows




                                      The Clerestory Windows                                               

The Eight Best Known Apostles

A Memorial to Mr. and Mrs. George H. Winn


Peter: The Keys of the Kingdom     Matthew 16:19



James: Three scallop shells depicting pilgrimage and martyrdom.     Acts 12:2


John: The Chalice and a Serpent representing truth resisting the poison of sin.

1 John 1:17



Andrew: The fisherman called to be a fisher of men.     Matthew  5:8



Phillip: Basket of bread and “Tau” cross of martyrdom.     John 6:5


Bartholomew ( Nathanael):The book of faith and the knife of martyrdom

John 1:49


Thomas: The leather girdle of pilgrimage and stones of martyrdom

John  11:16



Matthew:  Three purses of the tax gatherer.     Matthew 9:9

The Chapel Windows

 Events from the Life of Jesus as Described in Luke’s Gospel:

The Baptism of Jesus



Thou art my beloved Son;   with thee I am well pleased.   Luke 3:22

 The Presentation in the Temple

IMG_0199 They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.  Luke 2:22 & 24

Jesus with Mary in the Carpenter Shop


















Jesus Exhorting the Disciples


Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.    Luke 24:45-47

Jesus Announces His Mission in the Temple

Jesus announces His mission in the Temple

Jesus announces His mission in the Temple


  …has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.       Luke 4:16-18

The Narthex Windows

These windows symbolize the Church and the means of grace: Bible reading, Prayer, Attendance on the services and the Sacraments of the Church.

North Window: The Bible and Prayer



The lamp of truth stands on the book which is the Bible.

Psalm 119:105

Beneath is the incense burner, surmounted by the letters Chi Rho. Psalm 141:2 and John 14:13.







Center Window: The Church

IMG_0149The Church is represented by an ancient symbol taken from a mosaic decoration taken at the apse in the Lateran Basilica in Rome. From the Holy Spirit, symbolizes by the dove, the water of life flows through Christ, indicated by the golden cross. The water then flows through the rock of the believer’s confession into life giving faith, symbolized by the garden, a paradise guarded by angels. Matthew 16:18.

 South Window: Christian Life



Christian life and fellowship are represented by a tree full of birds. The vine and the branches represent Christians as fruitful branches.  Revelation 2:7 ; John 15:5.


1 Response to Second Presbyterian Church

  1. Pingback: Second Presbyterian Church of Kansas City | Inspired Glass

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