Little Fork Church Gets New Organ
Historic Little Fork Episcopal Church, in Rixeyville, Virginia, is installing a pipe organ that was donated by Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Norfolk, Virginia. Otto Pebworth of Pebworth Technical Service is in charge of the organ's repair and installation.
Little Fork, part of St Mark's Parish, began as a small wood chapel in the early 1700s. The current brick building was completed in 1776. During colonial times, services were small and infrequent and the only music in the church was the human voice. The music sung was typically Psalms from the Bible. Little Fork Church was restored to its colonial state in the 1970s and was consecrated in 1979 by The Right Reverend Robert Bruce Hall. The church is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and also the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1981, the church installed a small pipe organ. This organ was built by Hall&LaBagh in the 1850s and had only one manual and five ranks. In 2008, Culpeper Methodist Church donated a Rodgers Analogue Electronic organ to Little Fork. This organ was built in the 1960s had been used occasionally until recently.
The core of the pipe organ that Mr Pebworth is currently installing was built by Temple Organ Company in St Joseph, Missouri, in 1984. The organ has five ranks and its console has two manuals and a pedal board. The console was built by Randall Dyer of Jefferson City, Tennessee. The organ's casework is being fabricated specifically for Little Fork Church by Michael Moulder of New Market, Virginia. The casework is being designed to accurately match the colonial interior of the church and will model instruments of the colonial period.
Money for the repair and installation of the pipe organ is being donated by the Laimbeer family in memory of Francis (Frank) Effingham Laimbeer III. Frank was a very active member of Little Fork Church for many years. He loved music and played the piano and the harmonica. The Little Fork Church community is very grateful to have this remarkable instrument in its historic building and hopes that music will continue to be an integral part of the church ministry for years to come.