Francis Chapel Getting a New (Gently Used) Organ

By Ken Garfield

We’re about to make more beautiful music together.

The church has purchased a pipe organ for Francis Chapel, to be installed and ready for play this autumn, hopefully in time for Advent. As Director of Music Jimmy Jones shares, it will replace the organ he bought off Craigslist and practiced on in his living room when he lived in Winston-Salem.

Francis Chapel had always been slated to have a top-notch organ.  When our church learned that a gentleman in Ashland, Kentucky, needed to sell the organ he had built for his home, Jimmy and Music Associate Nicolas Haigh drove up, test-played it and set the deal in motion. The two-year-old organ will be known as the Walter Ball Memorial Organ, honoring our beloved former choirmaster and organist. When the organ arrives by truck, Jimmy plans to invite the congregation to be here to celebrate, and to carry it in piece (and pipes)   The $175,000 project is being paid for by the church’s Wesley Foundation and a grant from the Lucille P. and Edward C. Giles Foundation. The congregation has an opportunity to participate by making a gift to the project (specifically, the organ’s upfit), perhaps in honor of a loved one. Donations ranging from $100 to $15,000 will support specific parts of the instrument (console, keys and the like). Donors’ names will be included in a dedication book. Those interested in participating in any part of the project can reach Music Ministries’ Brian Childers at 704-295-4806 or or Nicolas Haigh at

Some other details: The organ will sound forth at weddings, funerals, preschool worship and other chapel gatherings. Jimmy envisions organizing chamber music series and other special events for the congregation and community. The organ has 1,000 pipes, the largest 16 feet tall. By comparison, the Sanctuary organ has 6,000 pipes. The pipes will go on the wall above the entrance to Francis Chapel. You’ll be able to walk in, turn around, look up and be wowed. The console will go in the front of the chapel. Once installed, Jimmy says, it will make beautiful music for up to 75 years.