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History Inside Zion
1872 - 2022

History Inside Zion

The Altar Painting:

The original Altar painting was commissioned for the 1908 redecoration of Zion and painted by traveling artist Jacob Gogolin.  Prior to that, the original Altar area was wood from 1892 until the 1908 renovations. This new painting in 1908 was a large oil painting, the same size, and shape as the current painting.  It was also the same picture portrayed in our current painting - Jesus emerging from his tomb, with an angel nearby, two soldiers on the ground below him and Jerusalem in the background.  







By the late 1970s, the original painting was compromised by age, with some of the oil paint beginning to flake off. This wasn’t too long after Pastor Wildgrube joined Zion in 1976. Zion leadership determined the painting could not be effectively rehabilitated and agreed to replace it with a new one. It was then ordered that the new painting mirroring the old was to be created, containing the exact same scene.


Ira Doell (Lynn Mannings’ father) and the Building & Grounds team apparently did some research to try to find painters who might do this at a very high-quality level, within Zion’s budget. They agreed on Thomas E. Breitenbach. He was originally from Queens, NY, and was early in his career when he moved to Altamont in the mid-70s.  He was/is best known for his painting called Proverbidioms, which contained a couple of hundred well-known illustrated clichés, e.g, “time flies” was included as an alarm clock with wings, flying across the sky.

The new painting, by Breitenbach, was unveiled on November 22, 1981.


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