Westminster-Bethany Presbyterian Church - Brooklyn, N.Y.
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Westminster–Bethany United
Presbyterian Church

644 McDonough Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11233

Organ Specifications:
644 McDonough Street at Howard Avenue (since 1893)
Present building (since 1928)
• unknown
First building (1893-1928)
II/10 M.P. Möller, Op. 1004 (1909)
• unknown – possibly reed organ
Halsey Street near Howard Avenue (1889-1893)
• unknown – possibly reed organ

The congregation known today as Westminster–Bethany United Presbyterian Church was formed by a merger (c.1928) of Bethany and Westminster United Presbyterian churches. The combined group worships in the edifice built as Bethany Presbyterian.

Bethany Presbyterian Church was an outgrowth of a Union Mission Sunday school, organized in May 1881, that met in a store on the corner of Howard Avenue and Madison Street. In September 1885, the mission was transferred to the care of the Greene Avenue Presbyterian Church. Under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Donald McLaren, who was called in February 1888 to be pastor of the mission, about 30 people successfully petitioned the Presbytery to allow a new church society to be established. With 32 members on the roll, the Bethany Presbyterian Church was officially organized on May 30, 1888, and was incorporated in March 1889. After sufficient funds were raised, a new edifice was erected on Halsey Street, near Howard Avenue. The frame structure, having a frontage of 30 feet and depth of 65 feet, provided a seating capacity of 350. On October 20, 1889, the completed church was dedicated, followed the next evening by a service of praise and thanksgiving. The total cost of the church plus two lots was $8,000. Within a few years the rapidly growing Sunday school needed larger facilities. To provide room for growth, a plot of lots measuring 184 feet by 100 at the nearby corner of McDonough Street and Howard Avenue was purchased for $14,000. With considerable difficulty the old church structure was moved to the new location in March 1893. After extensive renovation, the relocated edifice was reopened on May 7, 1893. An addition for infants was built in 1895, and in 1899 a brick addition measuring 20 feet by 65 increased the seating capacity to about 700 people. The present brick Gothic edifice, designed by R. F. Schirmer & J. W. Schmidt of New York City, was completed and dedicated in 1928.
Organ in first building at present location:

M. P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 1004 (1909)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 11 stops, 10 ranks

The Ledger Book copy of the Letter of Agreement (May 9, 1909) between M.P. Möller and Bethany Presbyterian Church states that Möller would build an organ for a consideration of $1,800 and the "old organ now in church." Möller used tubular-pneumation action and provided a Kinetic blower to supply the wind. Although it was not indicated on the specifications, it seems likely that the organ was enclosed in one swell box, with the exception of the Open Diapason, as was usual for Möller organs of this style. A note in the Ledger shows that the organ was shipped on September 25, 1909.

It is not known if this organ was moved to the present building.
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
  Open Diapason [unenclosed?]
  Rohr Flute
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
  Violin Diapason
  Flute Harmonique
  Stopped Diapason
  Oboe Gamba [labial]
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
  Bourdon [unit]
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal   Swell 4'
    Tremulant   Crescendo Indicator
    Wind Indicator    
Adjustable Combination Pistons
    Pistons No. 1-2 affecting Swell & Pedal stops
    Pistons No. 3-4 affecting Great & Pedal stops
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Grand Crescendo Pedal    
     "A Church Purchases Lots," Brooklyn Eagle (Jan. 1, 1893).
     "A New Church," Brooklyn Eagle (Mar. 7, 1889).
     "An Interesting Event. The Dedication of a Building for the Bethany Church," The New York Times (Oct. 21, 1889).
     "Bethany Church Enlarged," Brooklyn Eagle (Nov. 13, 1899).
     "Bethany Church Reopened," Brooklyn Eagle (May 8, 1893).
     "Bethany's New Church," Brooklyn Eagle (June 25, 1899).
     "Dedicated With Appropriate Ceremony," Brooklyn Eagle (Oct. 21, 1889).
     "Dr. Louis Rotenbach, Clergyman, 72, Dead," The New York Times (Oct. 20, 1936).
     "Service of Praise and Thanksgiving," Brooklyn Eagle (Oct. 23, 1889).
     "Ten Years of Church Work," Brooklyn Eagle (Mar. 29, 1898).
     "The Church Has Not Been Moved," Brooklyn Eagle (Mar. 22, 1893).
     Trupiano, Larry. Ledger Book Letter of Agreement and Specifications for M. P. Möller Organ, Op. 1004 (1909).

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