Sanctuary Setting Explained

In 1887, the St. James Ladies Society undertook the project of providing a new altar for the church, and by November of that same year had gathered cash and pledges totaling $500. The new altar, including three statues, was ordered at that time.

The statues were selected (according to St. James tradition) based on how the ministry of St. James was and is still understood. Matthew (who is on the lectern side of the altar) was selected because of our commitment to minister to the children of the Lafayette community. John (who is on the pulpit side of the altar) was selected because our ministry is founded on the Word of God alone. The words seen on the book John is holding, IN PRINCIPIO ERAT VERBUM, are Latin for “In the beginning was the Word.” In the center of the altar, as well as our lives, is our Savior Jesus Christ from whom all blessings flow.

The total cost of the altar that has adorned our sanctuary for over 100 years was $494. The altar was installed in April 1898 and was most recently given a facelift during the summer of 1993.