The Main Entrance Doors of St. Paul's
The idea of bronze doors commemorating events in the life the church's patron was first suggested to Carl Strang in 1983 or 1984. The concept was approved by St. Paul's vestry and off-site work commenced before the church building was destroyed by fire in 1985.
Strang commissioned David Fullerton to complete the project, including design and fabrication. In 1984, Fullerton set up a foundry in the Phoenix Industries complex in Eloise to cast the components of the doors. elements of the doors were cast in bronze there during 1985 and 1986. Following the the 1985 fire which completely destroyed the church sanctuary, church architect Paul Robin John of Sarasota designed the new building to accommodate the St. Paul bronze doors.
In December 1985, Strang commissioned Steven Dickey of Valrico to design and form the eight sets of matching relief panels. Rick Frignoca of Bronzart Foundry in Sarasota was selected to cast the reliefs, and the Elison Bronze Company of Falconer, New York, was chosen to design and fabricate the the bodies of the doors.
Robert D. Waters, assisted by Shorter Strang Sr., handled fabrication of the door frame from nineteen pieces of cast bronze; installation of the frame into the church structure; hanging the finished doors; and mounting the Christ figure in the Tympanum over the doors.
Each of the eight panels consist of two mirror-image reliefs with a sheet of quarter-inch safety glass in between, held in place by removable molding. The doors, each weighing in excess of four hundred pounds, rest on special closers made by Rixson-Firemark, Inc. Franklin Park, IL.
The project was completed in September, 1992.
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.
"At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul." (Acts 7:57-58)
"But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall." (Acts 9:25)
"Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.” (Acts 17:34)
"He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'" (Acts 9:4)
"After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.” (Acts 16:23)
"Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized," (Acts 9:18)
"When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.” (Acts 28:16)