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Messiah Lutheran Church’s Dedication of Pipe Organ and Organ Recital was held Sunday October 26th at 3:00 pm. Messiah’s recently expanded sanctuary was once again filled with the beautiful tones and melodies that can source from a pipe organ.  A tremendous number of folks came out to celebrate the long awaited day!

Messiah Lutheran celebrates the newly installed pipe organ (shown upper left)
dedicated into service on Sunday, September 26th, 2014

The Dedication featured several readings of scripture and a dedication prayer.   Bob Gustafson talked on the mission and construction of the organ.   Pastor Scott Peterson led the Organ Search Committee working closely with Bob, Messiah’s Director of Music Ministries, Lois Graff, along with the expert consultation of Mark Moorehead, principal organist at Trinity Methodist Church of Huntsville. The Organ features over 800 pipes and is located within the upper level of the east transept of the newly expanded altar space.  

Pastor Peterson spoke on the joyousness of the occasion, connecting Psalm 46  to Martin Luther’s writing the hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”    Psalm 46 was then sung (without accompaniment) by the congregation which then led directly into Mark Moorehead’s jubilant introduction on the organ of that most famous of Luther’s hymns, complete with trumpet played by Bryan Page. Singing hymns accompanied by organ had officially returned to Messiah Lutheran Church! 
The dedication continued with a talk on “Music and Martin Luther” given by Dagmar Miller. Messiah’s Notabella Bell Choir, led by Rhonda Gaede,  performed  “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” by Haydn.   Messiah’s choir, directed by Randall Fields,  was wonderfully rounded out by volunteers from All Saints Lutheran Church of Huntsville.  The choir performed Wood’s Jubilate Deo (Psalm 100) and concluded with Mendelssohn’s  Verleih uns Frieden. 

Organist Joshua Coble performing on Messiah Lutheran’s
newly installed pipe organ, built by George Miller.
Finally it came time to feature the newest pipe organ in Madison County.  For the recital, Messiah secured the remarkable talent of organist Joshua Coble .  Coble, a Huntsville native, is a current candidate for the Doctoral of Musical Arts for Organ Performance at the University of Alabama.  Coble, who serves as the principal organist at Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, presented several works that would provide the listeners an opportunity to listen to the wonderful range and capabilities of the newly installed organ.  He performed four works, clearly demonstrating the fitness of the instrument for future recitals and performances.
After the Dedication and Recital concluded, a reception was held for all in attendance. The reception was coordinated by Mary Ann Stasiak with the generous help of Jan Murphy and many many others.
Indeed, arriving at this day was the result of countless contributors and answered prayers and now that it is place, it will continue to bless our mission, our ministry and the music at Messiah Lutheran Church! 
We hope you will come to Sunday Services to hear this wonderful Instrument in Action.

You can also hear more this Saturday Night, Nov 1st.  The Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series will feature the choral ensemble “Huntsville Collegium Musicum” who is presenting Thomas Luis de Victoria’s  Officium Defunctorum,  at 7:30 pm at Messiah Lutheran.  Organist Betty Augsburger will be playing several pieces just for organ as well.
Photos by Joe Stuart