When the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968, thus creating the United Methodist Church, there were now 2 United Methodist Churches in Germantown.
After many years of faithfully serving God just 2 blocks apart, leaders from Wesley and Good Shepherd began to come together in prayerful discernment about the possibility of merging into one vital congregation. Many meetings and discussions ensued.
Finally, on April 29, 2001, the two churches merged to become Germantown United Methodist Church. The Wesley building on Market was sold in the Fall of 2011, and the Good Shepherd building on Cherry Street was sold in 2006.
When the Sunday School classrooms were near completion, people went in and wrote prayers on the concrete floor.
Then December 18, 2010, the first worship service was held in the new building. In February 2011, West Ohio Bishop Bruce Ough came and preached the Consecration Service.
Since then, new – and old – things have been added:
When the new church building for the Germantown UMC was proposed, a core group of people in the congregation took it upon themselves to work toward combining the pipe organs from the former Wesley UMC and the former Good Shepherd UMC. The Wesley UMC organ was a 15 rank, two manual (keyboards) Aeolian instrument that had been installed in the late 1940’s after the church had obtained it from the Van Sweringen mansion in Shaker Heights, OH. The Good Shepherd UNC organ was a 9 rank, two manual Reuter instrument that was installed in 1951. The Reuter organ was a rebuild of the original organ (make unknown) that had been installed in 1904.
In October 2005, requests for proposals to merge the two organs were sent to a number of organ builders. After a few meetings and interviews with the finalists, Peebles-Herzog, Inc. in Columbus, OH was chosen to design and build the new organ.
Since the beginning of 2006, the organ committee has evaluated several designs for the new organ and worked with the organ builder to reach a final arrangement that will create a 26 rank, two manual organ using most of the components of the Aeolian organ, the pipes and chimes from the Reuter organ, a rank of new pipes, and new wind chests and reservoirs for the great organ sign of the instrument. Also a new console will be installed to accommodate the many ranks of pipes and incorporate newer technology.
In March of 2012, Phase I of the pipe organ project was completed. This portion of the project involved installation of the Swell Organ which is primarily the Aeolian organ from the former Wesley UMC. The Swell Organ is played on the upper keyboard of the organ console and is generally used to play the expressive elements of a piece of music rather than the foundational notes of the music. However, until the Great Organ portion of the organ could be afforded, the Swell Organ has been used for all the organ music in the worship services.
In July of 2014, Phase II was completed with the installation of the Great Organ from Good Shepherd. It consists of three wind chests and associated reservoirs to support seven ranks of pipes. New Expression shades were placed across the opening of the Great Organ chamber to enhance volume control. Tonal finishing will be done to ensure that all units of the entire organ are balanced and harmonious after the Great Organ installation work is completed.
Now completed, we have a twenty-six rank organ plus chimes and harp. The twenty-six ranks of pipes equates to 1,516 pipes. The return of beautiful organ music to enhance our traditional worship services will be a blessing we can all enjoy.
The Market Street bell was removed from its belfry in 2012. After spending time “in the shop”, it was finally delivered and installed at its new location. A crowd of folks (and one Pug) watched as a crane gracefully lifted the bell and set it into its stand. (Special thanks to everyone who donated to the project, and Charles Heistand for overseeing it all.)
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