St. Paul's stained glass

Paul Phelps (left), owner of Oakbrook Esser Studios in Oconomowoc, and Oakbrook Esser Studios craftsman Peter Krauski remove a more than century-old stained glass window from St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran in Deerfield on July 8.

St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church in Deerfield is hosting a Community Fun Festival Saturday, Aug. 17.

Festival proceeds will help restore the church’s historic bell tower.

St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran was completed in 1859. It is believed to be the oldest still-in-use Norwegian Lutheran Church building in the United States.

The family-friendly Aug. 17 event is from noon to 8 p.m. at Fireman’s Park in downtown Deerfield.

Live music will be provided throughout the day by four bands: By Request (a women’s barbershop quartet) from 12:30-1 p.m.; Promised Band from 2-3 p.m.; Tim Hansen Band from 3:30-4:30 p.m.; and the Kristy B Band from 5-7:30 p.m.

There will be food and drink for sale, including pork sandwiches, bars, soda and beer.

Children’s activities will include face painting and a bouncy house.

Other fun will include a bags tournament, a raffle and a silent auction. Silent auction items will include Badger football tickets and a Green Bay Packers signed football. The raffle will be drawn at 6 p.m.; winners need not be present to win.

In July, six stained glass windows were removed as the church began a major restoration project.

Oakbrook Esser Studios, of Oconomowoc, is now taking the six windows apart, cleaning and repairing the glass pieces and putting them back together with new leading. When they’re returned to Deerfield in the fall, they’ll be re-hung including with new frames, new horizontal supports and new storm windows.

While the bell tower windows are out, masonry work on the bell tower is underway by RD Woods Company of Milwaukee.

The church, in all, has 14 stained glass windows, installed in 1914. The other eight are expected to be restored as part of a future restoration phase.

Facility Engineering, of Madison, is now drafting a comprehensive restoration plan for the entire church; when it’s done Vogel Brothers Building Co., of Madison, will help implement it, Pastor Holly Slater said in an interview in July. The plan is expected to be presented to the congregation in mid-August.

The stained-glass windows were designed by Milwaukee craftsman Carl Reimann at a total cost in 1914 of $423. The church has not publicly said what they are valued at today.

They range in size from three rose windows high in the bell tower that are each four feet in diameter; two stairway windows in the bell tower entryway that are each three feet wide by 10 feet high; an triangle-shaped entry window that is four feet wide by five feet tall; and eight sanctuary windows that are each four and a half feet wide by eleven and a half feet tall.

For more information on the festival or the restoration project, call (608) 764-5885.

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