Local News

Raleigh Church Home to Largest Organ in Eastern N.C.

Posted December 23, 2007
Updated December 24, 2007

— A Raleigh church has created its own sounds of the season. The Edenton Street United Methodist Church has the largest organ in Eastern North Carolina. The congregation waited for more than four years for the special instrument.

“It really adds to our worship of almighty God and elevates us to a new level of worship,” said Dr. Roger Elliott, senior pastor of Edenton Street United Methodist Church.

“This is the greatest Christmas gift. Not only for me, but for this church,” organist Josh Dumbleton said.

“The people who were here, several of them I saw crying a little bit. It was just such a moment for them to hear this and to know that it is for the glory of God,” church member Dee Ann Edwards said.

Musicians can only play part of the instrument until the remaining part is installed.

All together, there are 6,000 pipes and 7,000 parts. Each piece was carried in by church members last month. 

The congregation wasn't expecting the organ until next year – but in the true spirit of Christmas – it came early.

“They've been able to see the pipes, but not actually hear them, so I think that kind of built up the anticipation,” Dumbleton said.

On Sunday morning, the anticipation quickly turned to joy as church members heard the organ with all its glorious sound.

The organ cost more than $1 million. Church leaders expect it to be completely assembled by March.


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  • LuvLivingInCary Dec 25, 2007

    hmmm a million dollars...i went to a wedding in that place that the air conditioning was broken. they would not even call someone in to fix it. had to wait till monday.

  • syracuseinwonderland Dec 25, 2007

    At least they have something to show for their $1 mil. Another church spends 100's of millions settling Clergy abuse lawsuits alone.

  • kelleyv Dec 24, 2007

    I am speaking of the things of above and not beneath. If you don't get that statement, you and I are not talking about the same thing.

  • FE Dec 24, 2007

    "Let's face it, 1mil for a musical instrument is not doing the work Jesus asked us to do. Its a prideful waste."

    GOTCHA - Guess we need to tear down Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey, Washington National Cathedral, Duke Chapel, most of Vatican City, and the like so no one could feel "guilty" for spending the huge amounts of money to build/maintain those over-priced structures?

    And, once again, if a private person or group of persons specified their OWN money for the Edenton project, they certainly have the right to do so.

  • kelleyv Dec 24, 2007

    Let's face it, 1mil for a musical instrument is not doing the work Jesus asked us to do. Its a prideful waste. It doesn't spread the gospel of salvation, it doesn't clothe the naked, give food to the hungry, or visit anyone in prison. We don't judge whether a person should or should not receive help, we are commanded to help. You'd be right to assume my church could not afford 1 mil for one instrument. Our money goes into the work of ministry not music. I hope you all have a very Merry CHIRSTmas.

  • crazyfrog02 Dec 24, 2007

    The homeless can come and listen to the organ. They then can locate god and maybe help get a job, stop drinking,and stop doing drugs. Just a thought!! Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year.

  • FE Dec 24, 2007

    Gritting my teeth since it is the Christmas season:

    Perhaps the pipe organ at ESUMC was paid for, in large part, by donations of members of the church. Perhaps someone left a large amount of money to the church upon death, with funds allocated to updating/improving the pipe organ.

    Perhaps the donors felt the desire to add something permanent to the church, in a way that can be appreciated by many folks under many circumstances for several generations.

    Perhaps the donors felt their funds might actually not best be spent on some downtrodden folks, especially those whose place in life is a result of their own actions (alcohol, drugs, gangs, and more).

    Perhaps the donors and members of the church have the right to do whatever they wish, without someone having a "better idea" for them.

    When I see the "wasted" money on football stadiums, basketball arenas, hockey palaces, or NASCAR tracks spent instead on the "homeless" then I might see things differently.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  • ghimmy47 Dec 24, 2007

    I think of what good $1,000,000 could have done in the world rather than provide bragging rights to the largest organ in the fishpond. Anyway ... there was this guy in gym class ...

  • ProudConservative2 Dec 24, 2007

    lol at timbo.

  • tazmeadowman Dec 24, 2007

    summerlins well said.1 million the homeless would have eaten for awhile.bet they hate they let the price be made public