ASBURY UMC PIPE ORGAN RENOVATION 2010
The pipe organ renovation project began in 2009 with the reception of funds from Kay Frantz’s estate. Kay was our organist here at Asbury for 67 years. We know she would be extremely pleased to see the results her gift has blessed us with.
The pipe organ was hand crafted in 1903 by the A.B. Felgemaker Company. Anton Gottfried, an employee of Fegelmaker, along with Henry Tellers, eventually left the company and began their own pipe organ company. Anton was a member of the Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church. (formerly located at 11th and Myrtle) In the mid-1930’s, he rebuilt the entire pipe organ for this congregation. He designed and made many innovative improvements to the new pipe organ. In 1963, the EUB church merged with the Methodist church and formed the United Methodist Church. As a result of this merger in 1967, the Salem church building was vacated and the pipe organ was dismantled and put into storage.
Susie Doll was also a member of the Salem congregation and after she became widowed, she moved back to Millcreek and joined Asbury UM Church. In 1968, Rev. Don Bloomster became the pastor at AUMC. With plans to build a new sanctuary and one that could house a pipe organ, Susie provided the means to get the organ out of storage and donate it to this congregation. It was through her foresight and Rev. Bloomster’s leadership, along with the guidance and work of the Holy Spirit, that the Tellers Organ Company rebuilt and installed the pipe organ here in our sanctuary in 1973. Henry Tellers was a contemporary of Gottfried and had been actively involved in servicing the pipe organ while it had been at the Salem Church. He continued to service the organ until his death a few years ago.
We want to thank Fred Huttel for the history on this as he and Hilde were married in the Salem church and this organ was played at their wedding. We are so grateful to have had someone in our congregation who had direct ties to Susie Doll and this instrument. We are also very thankful that those before us had the vision to share this magnificent instrument with our congregation and that we still can hear its beautiful sound each Sunday in worship.
In 1985, the pipe organ began to show its age and the church realized the need for a complete restoration of all the mechanical parts.
Rev. Harold Kelly contacted Tellers and AUMC contracted with them to restore the organ to its original condition. Much needed work was done to repair the leather pouches and cracked wood pieces and restore the metal pipes that were beginning to sag.
Since Henry Tellers death a few years ago, Mark Fischer of Fischer Pipe Organ Company has been doing the normal maintenance on our instrument. He was also responsible for the renovation project that refurbished all the pipes and added digital voicing to augment the sound capability.
Work completed since January 2009 includes the following:
Wind chest replacements where needed with valves that respond more quickly
Cleaning of all pipes and addit ion of pipes to fill in where needed
Upgrade of winding system (blower, duct, regulators)
Replacement of Allen console with pedal keys, bench and 3 keyboards
Touch screen stops instead of pull knobs or rockers
Computer and interface board with Hauptwerk software
Amplifiers, speakers for 6 audio channels and one subwoofer with amplifier
Thumb pistons, toe stud, pedal shoes cleaned
New power supply (UL approved) and new wiring
Becky Nichols 50+ years at AUMC
Kay Frantz 67 years at AUMC
Maria Spicher 42 years (31 at AUMC)
Mary Lou Sam (40+ years) 5 at AUMC
Dixie West-Atwell (50+ years) 8 at AUMC
A special thank you to Gene West, all the trustees and those involved with the decision making to make this project a reality. We appreciate your vision for the future and the many blessings we will experience for years to come.