LAURINBURG — First Baptist Church will re-dedicate its 55-year-old pipe organ Sunday after having been without it for a year.
The organ was damaged in a strong thunderstorm in August 2016, according to music director Sylvia Stewart.
“We were having the roof replaced, and we had a bad storm,” Stewart said. “With the wind so high, I guess it blew the rain under the tarps and caused about $32,000 in damage to the pipes and chambers.”
Six hundred of the Austin Pipe Organ’s 2,000 pipes had to be replaced along with wiring and valves.
Pastor Wayne D. Wike will lead the rededication during the 11 a.m. worship service, “of thanksgiving and gratitude.”
“I’ll be glad to be able to use it again,” Stewart said. “It’s a terrific organ. It was around $45,000 when they first installed it, and it’s worth over $500,000 now. If you go to Europe and look in the old cathedrals, there are organs that have been there for hundreds and hundreds of years. They don’t wear out.”
The organ was a gift from W. Herbert Weatherspoon, in memory of his wife, Maude Lee Weatherspoon. It was installed in 1962.
Harry Cooper, chair of the music department at Meredith College, designed the organ and performed the dedication concert.
The organ has 28 stops – which set the tones for the various sounds, approximately 2,000 pipes with echo chambers and 20 chimes.
Lincoln Pipe Organ Company of Lincolnton led the restoration project.
Stewart will perform several selections during the service: “Praise to the Lord the Almighty,” two arrangements of “A Mighty fortress is Our God,” “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead us with Sheep May Safely Graze” and “Spirit Song.”
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169