FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
by Joyce Crislip
The pipe organ at First Baptist Church was built and installed by the Schantz Organ Company, Orrville, Ohio in 1918 (from: The First Baptist Church of Seville, Ohio, 175 Years of Church History Consolidated from Several Documents, 2013.) The company had faithfully maintained and tuned the instrument through the years; however, the aging process had caught up with the organ and vigorous renovation was required. So, on March 28, 2016, four Schantz employees arrived, disassembled the magnificent musical instrument and hauled it off to the factory in Orrville for major work.
The organ has over nine hundred pipes and various other components which were carefully removed from their special room above the sanctuary and packed in specially made wooden boxes. Lastly, two huge windchests were removed. It took two days of effort to disassemble the machine. Several church members observed and took photographs.
The renovation work will include washing, repairing and regulating all the pipework; tuning
and/or replacing the aluminum tuners; completely cleaning and rebuilding/re-leathering the windchests; refreshing the finish on the console and other needed updates. When finished, the organ will be returned to the church and installed. The entire project should take between two and three months.
It is hoped that the organ will be returned and completely functional in time for the Seville Bicentennial on July 22, 23, 24 and will be used for several mini-concerts during the celebration.