First United Presbyterian Church

The Davies Window

The Rev. Samuel Wilson Davies served the church for 28 years, beginning in 1874. In 1899, the Session honored him by commissioning a stained glass window, which was installed above the choir loft in the church at the time. It is now in place in Fellowship Hall.

” In 1874 Reverend Samuel Wilson Davies accepted the call to become pastor of the new First Presbyterian church and moved his wife and family to Fayetteville from Cotton Plant, Arkansas,” the church history book explains. “While serving at the church in southern Arkansas, Samuel Davies established the first black Presbyterian congregation in the state. At the same time he also served a church in near-by Augusta. Davies was widely recognized for his knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew as he had earlier studied at Danville Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He and his wife, Sallie, bought a home at 207 North College and deeded the corner side lot to First Presbyterian for the construction of a church.”

Davies was born in South Carolina and lived in several Southern states, including Mississippi and Louisiana, before coming to Fayetteville in 1874. He divided his time between the church in Fayetteville and some smaller churches in the surrounding area as the region grew. Davies wrote The Children of the Covenant: Their Privileges and Responsibilities in 1896.

The window’s design includes the traditional cross and crown symbol. This symbol refers to Christ the King, showing both the suffering of the cross and the triumph of the crown. During this season of Lent, we are reminded of both these elements of Christian theology and experience.

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