Monday, July 18, 2011
First Congregational Church Announces Purchase of Historic Pipe Organ
The Organ Committee of First Congregational Church, with support of the church’s Board of Trustees, has purchased an historic pipe organ, Ernest M. Skinner’s Op. 372, which became available from a church in Dearborn, Michigan. This instrument will temporarily occupy the narthex coat room until it can be integrated with First Congregational Church’s own historic pipes to achieve a tonal and artistic unity embracing the highest standards of craftsmanship.
Helderop Pipe Organs of Detroit will remove the organ from Dearborn Christian Fellowship, where it was transplanted over twenty years ago from the location of its construction, First Presbyterian Church, Bowling Green, Ohio. Built in 1922, Opus 372 represents a rare instrument built at Skinner’s Westfield factory by craftsman of the Skinner-acquired Steere Organ Company.
Recently, First Congregational Church formally announced its pipe organ revitalization project. Board members reactivated the church’s Organ Committee earlier in 2011 after realizing that the sanctuary’s pipe organ was and is badly in need of repair. Necessary maintenance includes replacing the console along with control system, and rewiring and releathering as needed, so the instrument is fully functioning and mechanically reliable. The church’s project embraces the aesthetic goal set in the 1920s by the church’s Music Committee when they selected the Skinner Organ Company to build a three-manual organ, Opus 751.
If you would like more information about the organ project or would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the project, please contact Nicholas E. Schmelter, Director of Music Ministries, at the church office center, (989) 754-6565, who will be pleased to answer any of your questions.