JOPLIN, Mo. —
A dedication service on Sunday will mark both the end of a musical era and the beginning of a new one for a Carthage congregation. The installation and tuning of a two-story Bosch Pipe Organ at Faith Lutheran Church has been completed. The project began last September when the organ was delivered to the church at 2134 Grand Ave.
The organ’s completion heralds a new Christian music environment like no other thanks to an engineering marvel, which is what Timothy Buelow, pastor of Faith Lutheran, calls the organ.
“Up until the end of the 19th century, a pipe organ like this was the most advanced piece of engineering that man had invented,” Buelow said. “There are 1,853 pipes, and each pipe has to be individually voiced with a couple of adjustments.”
Sarah Buelow, the pastor’s wife, serves as the church organist and, like her husband, finds it hard to contain her excitement over the church’s new addition. She said it is like having a live orchestra, compared to their previous organ.
While many churches are no longer using organs, there has been a bit of a renaissance with the pipe organ, she said.
“We have suggested that the Carthage Chamber of Commerce put this on its list of local destinations,” she said. “Because as a tracker organ, this is unique.”
Faith Lutheran bought the organ from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Flint, Mich., where it had been insured for $750,000. The Carthage church was able to purchase it for $25,000 and have it moved and installed for another $25,000.
The organ was made in Kassel, Germany, in 1971 and was bought directly from that site by Redeemer Lutheran parishioners, who were looking for the best quality German-made organ they could find.
“Organs can last 300-plus years, and this one is only about 40 years old,” Buelow said. “When you combine this engineering marvel of all of these wonderful things that God gave us in creation and the agility that God gave the human mind, you have something to give praise back to God.”
The Lutheran pastor said he grew up with the “hardy congregational singing” of Lutheran hymns. He said he sees the pipe organ as a perfect fit for supporting the human voice.
“It’s a wind instrument, just like God gave each of us,” he said.
Dedication of the organ will take place during Sunday morning’s worship services, with a dedication concert to follow at 3 p.m.
International guests have been invited, as well as people who have donated toward the project from other parts of the country.
Address correspondence to Rich Brown, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.