Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Eye of Providence in a Country Church

It was rather startling when I first saw this image painted on the ceiling of the historic church, located near where I live.

The image is called the "Eye of Providence", the all-seeing eye of God. If you would like to read more about it, click HERE.

Like so many places I explore, it starts with a drive down a country back road. I can see the church steeple on my right, as I approach the top of the hill.

The first Czech immigrant, Matthew Novak, settled in this area in 1855. Many followed from Czechoslovakia and some from Germany.

Just before I reach the church, there is a welcome sign. Over the years, the size of this community has dwindled to about 25 people. But, when they celebrate homecoming, more than 5,000 come for the picnic and celebration.

                       Approaching from the back side, you can see the beautiful stone work.

Each window and door has the arched shape with stone framing it.

In 1895, Gottfried Flury, a Swiss-born artist, was commissioned to paint the inside of the church.

If you look closely, on the right side of the photo, you can see the Eye of Providence in the highest part of the ceiling.

It is truly a magnificent sight to see. The tongue-in-groove wood ceiling, painted a sky-blue, is still vibrant. Every detail was hand-painted by the artist.

          His work depicts lush tropical palms, vines and flowers, creating an earthly paradise.

click on photo to enlarge

                         The view of the choir loft reveals the same hand-painted work of the artist.

Each stained glass window has a different symbol in the center.

                                   Dedication names are written in the Czech language.

The first time I saw this church is when I wrote the post about the Veteran's Day Celebration. Click HERE, to read the post. It was a very emotional day, photographing the veterans, hearing the patriotic music, and the 3 vintage airplane fly-over.

The churches I write about are not just about our history. They remain a place of worship, with services held each week.

Their doors are unlocked during the day...that one may drop by just to take refuge from a busy life.

Meggie Mac


  1. The interior is tremendous - not what I was expecting at all. Thank you for posting about this lovely church. Jx

    1. Thanks Jan....I enjoyed your photos too, especially the one of Broadway Tower.

  2. How breathtakingly beautiful! And the history is always interesting, XOXO

    1. Thanks Susan....I try to add some history to my posts. These painted churches are beautiful.

  3. would love it if you would link up this post to our Inspired Sunday on this Saturday at 6 pm ... there is a link on my blog. please. thanks. have a great day. ( :
    i love all those church details.

  4. This is really a stunning piece of artwork. I cannot imagine how much time it took to paint the interior. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. What a truly wonderful church! That vaulted ceiling with the exquisite painting - Gottfried Flury's work is superb. From the little glimpse I can see of the back of the altar and the statues I know that I could spend hours just marvelling at the whole interior.

    So often the churches I explore have become redundant, so it is lovely to know that this is still a place of worship. I'm not sure about that eye, though, it would make me uncomfortable...but perhaps that is part of what it is meant to do.

  6. The painted, arched ceiling is really gorgeous!! I love being able to wander through old churches, taking just a few minutes from my day to think and pray and appreciate the sacred.

  7. What a magnificent church.. I never knew about the Eye of Providence.. I am going to read it again. I learnt something today Meggie.
    You have shared a little of the history of America and the immigrants that arrived there and started their little communities.
    The church is really very well preserved.. I am sure that the patrons give money for its upkeep.
    A calm place to just take some time to reflect.
    thanks for sharing this.. waiting for more...
    best wishes
    happy weekend.
    val. vals Alentejo

  8. What a marvellous and very unusual building - It must be the Czech influence, maybe in combination with your own style of church.


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