The organ at First Baptist Church was a Möller pipe organ that was originally installed in 1929. It was restored and expanded in 1973. By 2008 the organ console had become quite unreliable and the pipe restoration work of 1973 required additional repair. The pouches and actions inside the wind chests that control the air to the pipes needed re-leathering. The Holden Pipe Organ Company was selected to do this detailed and labor intensive work. At the same time re-voicing was performed to enhance certain pipe voices to make them speak richer and fuller within the auditorium. All of the pipework was cleaned and new swell shade motors were installed for better control of the expression of the sound. A new console was discussed that would provide a new, reliable, switching system. The console would also provide a myriad of modern features available with today's technology.
Evola Music was consulted and a new 50 Stop, Three-Manual, pipe and digital combination Allen Organ console was chosen. In addition to having a new relay and combination action system for the pipes, many other benefits came along with the new console. Digital stops, that were not available before, can now be heard, blending with the pipes, through a vast speaker system in the organ chamber area. Digital stops can also be routed through a separate sound system in the rear of the auditorium creating an antiphonal or echo effect.
Orchestral and additional organ sounds, as well as record and playback capabilities, are also accessible through the onboard MIDI sound module/sequencer. A Transposer, multiple memories and other voicing suites are among the list of modern features that the Allen console brings to the Möller pipes.
Keeping a majority of the 1929 & 1973 Möller pipework, plus updating the organ console, provides an extensive new variety of sounds and possibilities. This new combination organ utilizes the best of both worlds with pipes and authentic digital sound. First Baptist Church of Birmingham has an instrument that will inspire their worship for generations to come!
Congratulations to First Baptist Church and Evola Music and Lance Luce for making this dream into a reality!!