I am pleased to write you with an update on the status of the Organ Restoration Project at McAllister Memorial Presbyterian Church in Covington.
The congregation of McAllister appreciates the generous coverage that the Virginian Review has given this exciting and ambitious project. Thanks are also due to Jerry Clark who provided online coverage in the Alleghany Journal.
When the restoration of our lovely Holtkamp pipe organ was first introduced to the congregation in July of 2019, the church’s governing body had faith that the money could be raised, but knew that fundraising would require determination. It was remarkable to see the money begin to trickle in, and then to see the stream become more steady as the Christmas holiday approached.
When we started this project, none of us could have imagined what early 2020 would bring. Raising close to $90,000 is a challenge in the best of times, much less in the midst of a pandemic when so many have had their lives upended. Therefore, it is little short of extraordinary that I can report that our goal of $87,138.00 was met in the space of one year.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the members of McAllister Memorial and to the many friends and extended family of the church for exhibiting such generosity. Contributions have come in from all over the country. You have accomplished an amazing feat!
Also, thank you to members of the community who have supported the project by expressing interest in what you have seen and read.
Four of the five phases of the restoration are already complete and the organ will be ready and waiting in late summer or early fall when the congregation returns for in-person services.
The work has been expertly implemented by German-born Thomas Rohlfs of Rohlfs Pipe Organ services, LLC in Rocky Mount. Thomas is a true master in his field and McAllister’s Holtkamp has been in expert hands over these last months.
McAllister plans to have a service of rededication for the organ at a later date when social gatherings are less restricted. All are welcome.
Also, weekend services at McAllister are currently live-streamed from the sanctuary on the church’s Facebook page on Sundays at 11 a.m. These services are recorded and can also be viewed later in the week. We will be enhancing our live-streaming experience in the coming weeks.
Thanks to each of you who have followed the progress of this historic project.
Elizabeth Leitch Dreszer
Organist McAllister Memorial Presbyterian Church – N. Alleghany Ave., Covington