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Thomas Rohlfs of Rohlfs Pipe Organ Services of Rocky Mount, VA removes one of the large organ pipes from the front of the Holtkamp pipe organ at McAllister Memorial Presbyterian Church in Covington, VA.

McAllister Pipe Organ Campaign Within Reach Of Goal

Covington, VA (July 3, 2020) - Fundraising for the restoration of McAllister Memorial Presbyterian Church’s Holtkamp pipe organ in Covington, VA, is within striking distance of its goal of $87,138. More than $80,000 has been raised in less than 12 months.

A little over $6,100 is still needed to fund the 5th phase of the restoration which involves the keydesk, pedalboard, stop tablets and combination action. This final phase of the restoration has the greatest impact on the organist’s interaction with and control of the instrument. The renovations will regulate and improve keyboard touch, increase the available number of presets, and allow for greater flexibility in support of church services. Many of the switches and electrical components to be upgraded or replaced in this phase of the restoration are approaching 50 years of age.

McAllister Memorial’s members and friends have given generously with contributions coming in from people throughout the Alleghany Highlands and other parts of Virginia including Amherst, Roanoke, Hardy, Hot Springs, Eagle Rock, Richmond, Reedville, and a few cities and towns in between. Outside Virginia, contributions to the Organ Restoration Fund have come from friends and family in Arizona, Wyoming, Kansas, South Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, Delaware, Texas, and California. Many of these gifts were made in honor and remembrance of family members and friends.

As fundraising approaches goal the actual work of restoring the organ is progressing on schedule. The Great and Swell divisions of the organ have been restored and returned to service. Restoration of the Pedal division is in progress with the Pedal division pipework expected to be reinstalled later this month.

The Holtkamp pipe organ at McAllister Memorial in Covington, VA, was originally installed and dedicated during the summer of 1974. The organ has 17 stops and 1075 pipes. At the time of its dedication, McAllister members understood that the organ was to be a permanent part of the architecture of the church’s sanctuary which would glorify God as much when silent as when it is played. Today, people’s generosity will carry that understanding forward another 40-50 years into the future.

For More Information Contact:

Elizabeth Leitch Dreszer, 
McAllister Memorial Presbyterian Church, 
900 N. Alleghany Avenue
, Covington, VA 24426
 tel: 540-962-2675
Thomas Rohlfs of Rohlfs Pipe Organ Services of Rocky Mount, VA cleans an organ pipe with two pipes missing in the background from the left "wing' of the organ.

A view staring down the "barrel" of McAllister Memorial's pipe organ's largest organ pipe. The pipe is part of the Pommer stop of the Pedal division and measures 127 inches in length top to toe and 8 1/2 inches in diameter. Thomas Rohlfs of Rohlfs Pipe Organ Services of Rocky Mount, VA is inspecting and cleaning the pipe before it is returned to the organ case.


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