First Baptist Church
Builder: Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Inc. Contract Year: 1962 Dedicated: 1965 Opus: 1441
Photos 1-4 Source: Jeff Scofield
Photos 5-6 Source: Bruce Wilkin
Notes: This organ replaced Skinner Op. 631, which was installed in 1927. The present Antiphonal division is made up of ranks retained from Op. 631.
Op. 1441 was completed just in time to be used for the 1965 AGO Regional Convention, at which time regional competition winner, Diane Bish, presented a program.
The sanctuary was renovated extensively in the style of the 1960s in time for installation of the new organ, at which time the chancel was completely redone. The organ is installed across the front of the chancel. The sanctuary is quite large, seating around 1,800 with a wrap-around balcony, and also quite dead. The organ sounds wonderful at the console, but dies when you walk more than 38 inches away. At the time of my visit in 1985, the church had more than 2,500 members. It is located nearly next door to Trinity Episcopal Church (the late Thomas Matthews' church and home of one of the finest Möllers ever built).
The sanctuary and organ were renovated c.2009 – the acoustic has been improved considerably and the organ now is able to fulfill its potential. The 1970s changes to the organ were considerably improved at this time; the 32' half-length reed installed at that time time was replaced by a full-length bottom octave by Broome & Co.,as well as two other Walker 32's; a new III Cymbal at lower pitch was installed in the Choir; the EMS English Horn was moved from the Echo to the Choir, where it replaced the Oboe Schalmei.
Organ Historical Society Database: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=35766