Over its 120-plus years of operation, Ocean City Tabernacle has presented many inspirational speakers (such as Willard Scott) and nationally and internationally acclaimed preachers, clergy, and lay people (such as Anthony Cardinal Bevilaqua and Dr. Anthony Campolo). They have spoken and preached to vacationing visitors and the residents of Ocean City, New Jersey. Summer concerts are also held, featuring outstanding artists such as the Philadelphia Organ Quartet.
An integral part of these celebrations is the Tabernacle's expansive four-manual Allen organ, complete with a magnificent String Division. The installation has its Main Organ projecting from the front of the nave, a Full Antiphonal speaking from the back wall, the String section speaking from the ceiling, and the Solo Division speaking from the front and back of the ceiling. Its dedicatory concert witnessed performances by George Wesner and Fred Davies, organists at Radio City Music Hall.
The Tabernacle offers a wide variety of worship alternatives for the public from June to September. They needed and found a versatile organ that is up to the constant challenges of their wide ranging musical program.
The Tabernacle's History: In 1879, a group of local Christians sought an alternative to the "sinful" atmosphere of Atlantic City. They traveled by boat to look at an offshore island owned by a local farmer, and decided to buy it, founding a Christian seashore retreat for tent meeting services. They then formed an association and laid out plans for what was to become Ocean City, New Jersey. Land was donated to the new city for municipal buildings, and individual lots were sold for businesses and homes. A large wood and tent structure was built for summer worship services and tent meetings. This became known as "The Tabernacle". Although the founders were mostly Methodist, it was decided that more souls might be reached if there were no denominational attachment to the Tabernacle. Guest speakers came from all denominations, as they do now, for the feeling was and still is that it is the message that is important, not the affiliation.