Pitts Chapel receives $10000 preservation grant, funds will help restore stained glass – News-Leader

Pitts Chapel United Methodist Church is getting closer to the day it can hold services in its main congregation. For now, they are celebrating a big milestone.
The church was awarded a $10,000 historic restoration grant from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
A group of enslaved people founded the historic church in 1847, which means October makes 175 years since the congregation started. The church at 600 N. Benton Ave. was built in 1911 and is their third site.
After missing the award by one point the previous year, Pitts Chapel was one of 156 applicants vying for the grant from across the nation in 2022. In the end, the church was one of 36 organizations awarded and one of two in the state of Missouri.
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Following the Sunday service, Charlotte Hardin, chair with Pitts Chapel Administrative Board, along with Rev. Tracey Wolff and members of the Rachel Donelson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution shared more about what this grant means to the congregation.
“I keep saying it over and over, it’s a blessing,” said Hardin about the grant going towards preserving, restoring and protecting the stained glass windows. “It’s really going to help us do some great things to have the windows repaired and protected for generations to come to enjoy.”
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Local chapter member Pat Haas echoed Hardin about the grant being a blessing.
“It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Pitts Chapel UMC, Charlotte Hardin, Pastor Tracey and (former) Rev. (Russell) Ewell on this important project to help preserve its chapel’s beautiful stained glass windows,” Haas said.
The grant is one more example to the church’s commitment in restoring the chapel, Wolff said. She also commended the aforementioned Ewell on his work in preserving the chapel.
“(Ewell) gave so much vision to this entire project, he helped with the bulk of the writing, he and Charlotte and a few others, have been writing this grant,” Wolff said. “I got to come in and tweak a few things, so I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
It’s a major investment to repair the stained glass windows, Hardin told reporters. Under each one are dedicated glass with the names inscribed of folks who donated toward the decorative glass, including Rev. Edgar Pitts, for whom the building is named after.
“The church is the people in the building, but the windows add something special and I particularly love the little windows that go along the bottom that are memorials to former members,” Hardin said. “The windows do mean a lot, they really do.”
The installation date of the windows is unknown, but years of harsh weather and debris tossed by passing traffic have left the stained glass needing serious TLC. 
The next steps include reaching out to contractors and vendors to see when the restoration process can start as construction continues in the sanctuary, Hardin said. 
To donate to the Pitts Chapel capital campaign, you can mail checks to the church at 600 N. Benton Ave.; Springfield, MO 65806. For online contributions, go to Givelify.com and search for Pitts Chapel in Springfield, Missouri.
Sara Karnes is an Outdoors Reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Follow along with her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Karnes. Got a story to tell? Email her at [email protected]


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