From: Mark Bowdidge, August 2002

I have been the proud owner of a 3-rank Wurlitzer for about 11 years.

Currently the instrument is in storage but I am hoping to install it in my home in the next few years.

While I was in college I served as organist/choir director of a small Baptist church in Kansas City MO (Roanoke Baptist Church, near KU med center). Our church secretary was a member of a Lutheran congregation on the east side of the city. She told me that her church had purchased a new electronic organ and they were wanting to dispose of the old pipe organ. I, of course, was interested. I don't remember the name of the Lutheran congregation but have a general idea as to where it is located for those of you familiar with Kansas City--east of The Paseo, west of Prospect Ave., North of 63rd. street and south of Brush Creek. I THINK it was off 55th street but can't be sure. I met with the pastor of the Lutheran congregation and played the organ. The pastor told me at that time that an organ builder in the area maintaned the instrument for them. I THINK it was Quimby out of Warrensburg but don't remember. The pastor said that there was an older gentleman in the church that had a file on the organ. He said, however, that the gentleman was very ill and was not able to bring the file to the church. After our discussion I made an offer on the instruemnt. The pastor relayed that offer to the trustees of the congregation and it was not accepted. I assumed that was the end.

The organ was given to another Lutheran congregation--St. Mark's on Troost Ave. The wife of the pastor of St. Mark's was a faculty member at my college. She stopped me at school one day during Holy week and told me that if I got the instrument out of their chapel (where it had been sitting for several months) before Easter Sunday I could have it for no cost. Apparently the organist had intended to incorporate the three Wurlitzer ranks into their very small and weak antiphonal organ in the balcony of the sanctuary. Once they had an organ technician look at the Wurlitzer ranks (after it had been removed from the first Lutheran church and "dumped" in the back few rows of pews in the chapel at St. Mark's) they discovered that there was a siginficant difference in the wind pressure of their organ (apparently VERY low) and the Wurlitzer ranks (apparenly VERY high). The technician basically said that it wasn't practical to rework the Wurlitzer ranks to work on the lower wind pressure (I'm guessing here--was told this by someone who knew nothing about organs, and I know very little). So, on Maundy Thursday I built crates for the pipes and on Good Friday I called a bunch of people who owed me favors (some of whom still speak to me) and we removed the organ from St. Mark's into storage.

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