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Provo church hopes to raise $50K in three weeks to get pipe organ



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — A Provo church has always wanted a large pipe organ, but until recently, it was just a pipe dream. But now, they've launched a campaign called "Preserving the Pipes" as part of a bigger renovation project involving two churches, one massive organ and the effort to move it.

The Provo Community Congregations United Church of Christ wants an organ currently sitting in the First Community Church of Salt Lake on Foothill Boulevard. Due to dwindling attendance at the First Community Church of Salt Lake, the church is up for sale — but the organ is not included.

Church leaders then heard about the church in Provo and its grand plans of a building restoration and the goal of ultimately having a pipe organ. They were thrilled.

The organ, which was built in the late 1800s, needs work. The cost to move it is about $50,000. But David Lewis of the Provo Community Congregations United Church of Christ says it was an answer to a prayer.

A new pipe organ, like the one being gifted to his congregation, would cost more than $1.5 million. So while his renovation plans didn't include an organ for several more years, he said this was something they couldn't pass up.

"For this call to come in, way ahead of schedule, something pretty amazing and we felt like we needed to act on it," Lewis said.

The organ, while old, is still beautiful and has been well maintained. Teresa Clawson has played the organ every Sunday for the last seven years. She knows every pipe and every quirk. But when she found out the Provo church was looking for a pipe organ, she knew this was the organ for them.

"For me, it makes all the difference," Clawson said. "It just speaks to me and I think it does to a lot of people."

Clawson says organs like this have a warm sound that fills a room. While she's sad this church is closing, she is hopeful the Provo church will be successful in raising the money to move the organ, and eventually the $750,000 it will cost to restore it.

If you would like to help with costs, you can go to keepingthefaithprovo.org.

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Debbie Worthen

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