First Baptist Church
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Elder Jesse Vawter, a pioneer Baptist preacher from Kentucky, founded this church in 1807, on the hilltop overlooking the valley where Madison was to be laid out. First known as Crooked Creek Baptist Church and later as Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, the congregation relocated to Madison and built a meeting house there in 1831, the church’s third in a quarter-century. In 1853, construction began on the present brick building, finished in 1860. Hymns were “lined” until the 1880’s when a small reed organ was introduced. The ladies of the church started raising money for the pipe organ in 1899, and the Felgemaker organ, which cost $1,000.00 was dedicated January 20, 1901.
Organ History from the First Baptist Church:
The air supply was originally hand-pumped (and can still be pumped by hand, see photo above). Later a water-powered motor was installed, then an electric blower which is still in use today.
The tracker action is intact, one of 4 trackers (mechanical action) organs in Madison yet today.
The organ has 59 facade pipes of which 21 are speaking. The case is made of solid white oak and the console stop terraces are of solid cherry. The pedals are solid maple naturals and solid walnut sharps. The Draw Knobs are solid rosewood with Ivory faceplates. The natural keys are covered with ivory, and the sharps are solid ebony.
The organ was played for nearly every service since it’s an installation in 1901 except for about 8 Sundays when it was being restored or repaired.
In January 1985 the Miller Pipe Organ Co. of Louisville, Kentucky restored the organ including re-leathering the bellows.
The organ is as original as possible leaving every trace of the fine organ builders craft as when he built it.
756 speaking pipes, 2 manuals & pedal, 14 ranks of pipes.
Opus 732, 1900
16′ Sub Bass 30w
16′ Lieblich Gedeckt 30w
16′ Bourdon (TC) 49w
8′ Open Diapason, 61m
8′ Melodia, 61m
8′ Dulciana, 49m
4′ Octave, 61m
4′ Flute D’Amour, 61 w&m;
2′ Super Octave, 61m
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“The Church’s One Foundation”
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