Patience, perseverance and a lot of prayer – oh, and some righteously succulent fried chicken.

Patience, perseverance and a lot of prayer – oh, and some righteously succulent fried chicken.

Those are the ingredients in Clarksville United Methodist Church’s Save Our Stained Glass Windows campaign, which has reached its halfway point.

The congregation is mixing up more mouthwatering yumminess for its annual Applefest Chicken Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the door. The price has not changed since the first dinner in 2014.

“Once again, it’s a privilege to open our church home to share our hospitality, a good meal, to make new friends and to greet familiar faces,” said Janie Busch, one of the organizers.

There are a couple of changes for which diners need to be aware.

First, serving starts at 11:30 a.m. this year instead of 11 a.m. because some helpers are participating in the Applefest parade. Thirty fewer minutes to eat means guests will have to be on the ball.

Second, and probably most important, the church has ordered fewer pieces of area caterer Laura Portwood’s secret recipe chicken. The decision was made after there were leftovers last year, though the extra pieces didn’t last long — it is a Methodist congregation, after all. But the early bird will get…uh…a better chance of getting some bird.

The rest of the menu consists of homemade mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, hot rolls, homemade desserts and drink.

“There are a lot of references in the Bible to feeding people, so it’s fitting that we are restoring the beautiful stained glass windows one meal at a time,” Busch said.

People who attend will be encouraged to look at the 109-year-old building’s elegant stained glass. The brick and stone structure is at the corner of Highway 79 and Howard Street in the heart of Clarksville. Visitors and passersby often comment on the beauty of the windows.

The sanctuary is surrounded by intricate colored glass that features Christian symbols, the names of previous pastors and lists of pioneer church members. The larger windows face north, south and east, with smaller pictured works on the west side above the altar.

Art Glass Unlimited of St. Louis has completed the south and north windows at a cost of $41,275. The bill has been paid through proceeds from community dinners and donations. Next on the agenda are the east and west windows, with an estimated cost of $31,725.

The tiny parish, which traces its roots to the 1830s, doesn’t shy away from big projects. The roof was replaced in 2007, steeple work was done during the building centennial in 2008, and basement and kitchen renovations were completed in 2013.

In addition to fried chicken, the church is selling prints and postcards of the windows as part of the campaign. Prints done by local artist Bill Blakey are $50. A set of six postcards is $5 and a bundle of five larger ones is $10.

The church and Clarksville have another reason to celebrate this year – 200 years of town history.

“The Methodist Church’s scrumptious fried chicken dinner at Applefest will celebrate the Clarksville Bicentennial and the halfway point of the window project,” said Mayor Jo Anne Smiley, a congregation member.