Christ Lutheran Church, Brooksville, Florida
The original pipe organ at Christ Lutheran Church was built in 1925 by
Virginia-based Lewis & Hitchcock, Inc. The instrument is unique in
the North Florida area as it is actually two instruments played from a
single console. There is a Choir Division located with the console in
the front of the sanctuary and near the singing choir, with the larger
instrument located in the rear of the sanctuary.
Why was the Organ Rebuilt?
Christ Lutheran Church committed to an eight year rebuilding project
for a number of reasons. Keith Schenck, the church organist since
1991, explains, "Our congregation is committed to preserving our pipe
organ's ability to provide for congregational singing, liturgical
music and excellence in music overall. We rebuilt the organ so it
would fit in the space we had designed for it and to ensure it had the
newest available technology. This rebuilding project reflects a fine
tradition of stewardship. We spent a comparable amount of money as
would be needed to purchase an electronic organ substitute. However,
our rebuilt organ will not get outdated and will provide many more
years of service."
Scope of the Rebuild Project
In 1990, the organ underwent improvements which included upgrading
to a solid state combination action and converting the Swell
Division to electric action. Since then, Lewis & Hitchcock, Inc.
has been engaged in an extensive and ongoing rebuilding program for
the pipe organ. The latest phase of the rebuilding began in 1997
Installing state-of-the-art electronic controls;
Upgrading the Choir Division to electric action;
Releathering all electro-pneumatic chests;
Adding three ranks of pipes;
Addition of flute pipes.
The congregation's dedication to the rebuild project was demonstrated
in the success of its fundraising. "We raised every penny for the
rehabbing," Mr. Schenck added proudly. "Our motto was 'Pedal, Pipes,
and Keys for Christ.'"
The newly rebuilt organ was dedicated on March 1, 1998. Keith Schenck
performed a first recital on the rebuilt organ on March 8, 1998. Mr.
Schenck says, "It has been my pleasure to play one of the three church
pipe organs in Hernando County. This is truly a grand instrument.
Lewis & Hitchcock has provided this church with a wonderful gift of
music for a long time to come."
Keith Schenck may be contacted at the Christ Lutheran Church at 475 North Avenue West,
Brooksville, FL 34601; Tel: (352) 796-8331.