Provo Church’s Gifted Historic Pipe Organ Needs Financial Help Before It’s Discarded | News, Sports, Jobs


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Part of the pipes that make up the pipe organ donated to Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ. The church is working to raise $50,000 to complete the donation.

Courtesy of Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ

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Pipes from an organ that was donated to Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ. The church is working to raise $50,000 to complete the donation.

Courtesy of Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ

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A pipe organ dating from the 1800s was donated to the Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ, although the church must raise $50,000 to complete the donation.

Courtesy of Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ

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The varied tones of a pipe organ can deliver soft, lofty sermons from the keyboard or powerful vocals such as those in “The Phantom of the Opera.” Anyway, Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ has just received such an organ, but it will require financial assistance.

Church officials say they need to raise $50,000 by June 10 to make the donation possible.

The pipe organ is donated by a church in Salt Lake City that is sold. With the church in Provo currently undergoing renovation and restoration, the church’s music director, David Lewis, said there was no better time to add the organ, which the congregation prayed.

“Members of the Provo Community Church had dreamed of a pipe organ for many years and wanted it included in their restoration and expansion plans, but realized it might be a pipe organ due to the high cost,” said Lewis, who also serves as co-chair of the “Keeping the Faith in Downtown Provo” campaign. “The call from the Salt Lake Church was an incredible surprise and an answer to our prayers. The donated organ will save us almost a million dollars.

If the church cannot find the funds, the organ will be sent to landfill. The 45-row organ was built in 1892 for Salt Lake Church and moved to a new church location in the 1960s.

In order to raise the $50,000 needed, the church in Provo started a small campaign called “Preserving the Pipes!” as part of its major fundraising campaign.

If the organ is acquired, it will be used for many downtown musical experiences, including the annual Carols by Candlelight Advent celebration. It will also expand the musical experience of congregations during worship services.

“The mini-campaign comes at an important time as May is National Historic Preservation Month,” Lewis said. “This campaign is a unique opportunity to not only save a piece of Utah history, but to bring a historic pipe organ back to downtown Provo. Sadly, the last such organ in the area was lost to the Tabernacle (Latter Day Saints) fire. If we are unable to raise these funds, the organ may be lost forever or broken up and sold for parts.

Provo Community Church was founded in 1891 by members of different faiths who came together to have greater influence in the Utah Valley community.

In February 2021, church members and community volunteers launched the Keeping the Faith in Downtown Provo campaign to raise funds to repair, restore, renovate and expand the cornerstone of the historic community located at 175 N. University Ave. to help the church stay open and affirm religious organization and continue and grow as one of the only places for secular community gatherings in downtown Provo.

For more information, watch online at keepthefaithprovo.org. Community members can donate online or on Venmo @KeeptheFaith Provo.



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Jerry B. Hatch