Breaking News
More () »

A pipe organ that's survived the test of time - over 150 years - has a future at an Irmo church

With over a century-and-a-half of history behind it, this organ could change the way an Irmo-area church makes a joyful noise.

IRMO, S.C. — South Carolina has for many years had a front-row seat to American history - from the Revolutionary War to Civil Rights. 

Now, a church near Lake Murray has an instrument that has endured well over a century of that history itself. 

This almost 160-year-old pipe organ has an unforgettable sound - one that parishioners at St. Michael's Lutheran Church describe as "magical" and "magnificent." 

Over decades, and more decades, this organ has filled the sanctuaries of five different churches with its unmistakable sound.

“[It was] built in 1865 in Boston, Massachusetts by ... E and G.G. Hook which was a prominent company," said Pastor Frank Anderson

It's been through quite a bit in the last 157 years.

“In 1974, the baptist church was burned - just an accidental fire," Anderson said. 

Yet, somehow, the organ was spared.

"The instrument was in the fire but was not damaged in terms of the content of the instrument.”

Now it’s residing at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church near Irmo. The organ was donated after a previous church closed its doors.

But while its angelic sound has touched many, far fewer have had the privilege of playing this storied instrument. William Douglas is one of the people who has played the organ.

“There's something about touching a tangible piece of history like this that sort of makes the music come more alive," Douglas said. 

He said that, as parishioners lift up their voices at St. Michael's, they'll feel that history as well.

But Pastor Anderson added that, while it will certainly be treasured among the congregation, he hopes the addition will also touch those outside the church.

"It's an instrument that people will want to hear and very rarely do you have an instrument this old, that's in this great condition in a place that, you know, can accommodate a number of people," he said.

Before You Leave, Check This Out