February 04, 2008

On August 26, 2007, Wesley Manor’s Watkins Memorial Chapel was the site of a Dedication Service for the antique 1867 William Evans pipe organ and other items given to Wesley Manor by Louisville’s Christ Church United Methodist.  The service was followed by a reception held in the Rotunda of Hoskinson House Assisted Living Center.

Christ Church organist Dan Stokes provided organ music for the worship and praise service, and Senior Pastor Dr. George Strunk formally presented the organ and other items to the people of Wesley Manor.  Wesley Manor Chaplain Rev. Rebecca Church led the service, with expressions of thanks offered by Alan Fryrear and Janet Shoaf.

The Evans pipe organ was built by William Evans in Lockport, IL about 1867. It is the oldest pipe organ in the state of Kentucky and the only one of its kind in existence.  It is thought that it was first used in a church in Des Plaines, IL and later at a Methodist campground there.  From 1945 to 1970 it was in the Wesleyan Church in Barrington Hills, IL and then in a private collection.  For a short while, it was housed in the Parish Hall of Fourth Avenue UMC in Louisville, exclusively for the 1993 Organ Society Convention.