St. Matthew Lutheran congregation has had a continuous history since its organization on April 14, 1743. The present church was completed in 1924, and is the fifth structure in which the congregation has worshiped during its long, continuous history. The organ for this fifth church was conceived and planned by J. Herbert Springer, organist of the church, and given by Mrs. Clara Glatfelter Moul. The original instrument had a scope of 87 speaking stops, and nearly 5,000 pipes, and was constructed by the Austin Organs, Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut. It was dedicated on January 13, 1925. The divisions of the organ were placed in chambers on both sides of the chancel, and on both sides of the gallery. Over the years it has been enlarged to the extent that it ranks among the ten largest pipe organs in the world.
The instrument recently underwent a five-year major restoration/renovation. The new console and renovations were planned by Minister of Music Scott Fredericks with assistance from then Assistant Minister of Music Karen Buckwalter. The organ console was replaced in March of 2014. The renovation was completed in October of 2016.
The organ currently has 14,470 pipes and 238 ranks, with an additional 22 digital stops plus MIDI. Wind for this massive instrument is supplied by four blowers which have a total of 37 horse power. The main blower is located in the basement. The remaining three are located in the bell tower above the Echo chamber, supplying pressures varying from 7” to 20.”
Our organ is used in our worship services and over the past 80 years has been heard in concert and played by many of the world’s finest organists. It has been featured with choirs, orchestras, brass ensembles and military bands. A detailed organ brochure is available from the church and also on our website. Our Minister of Music frequently offers tours of the organ and pipe chambers to church groups, musical groups, retirement homes, home school classes, Scouts, and church members. Check our Concert Series for details and future concerts.
This instrument was built and dedicated that its music might resound to the Glory of God and to inspire God’s people to worship. It was also the desire of the donor, and the earnest hope of the designer-organist, that its beautiful and glorious tones might give inspiration and pleasure to many beyond the membership of the St. Matthew congregation.
An Organ Fund has been established to help with the maintenance and tuning of this great treasure. Gifts to the Fund and memorial/honorarium donations are most welcome.