Fourth Moravian Church

470 West 143rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10031

The Fourth Moravian Church, also known as Beth-Tphillah, was founded in 1908 by the Dr. Charles D. Martin (1873-1942), who was was ordained in 1912 as the only Black minister of the Moravian Church in the United States. As some point, the Third and Fourth Moravian churches merged, forming the United Moravian Church, now located at 200 East 127th Street.
George Kilgen
New York City (c.1855)
Mechanical action
1 manual, 4 stops, 4 ranks

The following specification was recorded by F.R. Webber (1887-1963), whose "Organ Scrapbooks" are in the possession of The Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J. Webber wrote:
The organ is 5'6" wide, 2'6" deep and 8' 11" high. Its wind-chest is but 4' 3-1/2" long and 1' 4-3/4" deep, front to rear. The organ is in a paneled case, resembling an old fashioned secretary. Its single manual is hinged, and folds up flush with the case. There are six draw knobs, with square shanks, set in vertical rows, and with discs engraved in shaded script. They have a draw of 2½ inches. Above the manual is a panel containing gilded pipes turned out of wood. They are not speaking pipes. This panel lifts out, revealing four rows of pipes of rather small scale. The case is neatly made of black walnut, and the music board contains marks of a pair of candle brackets, such as one seen on old pianos and organs. Gaslight in New York City dates from February, 1825.

    On the bottom pipes of the Principal and Clariana is the name of Henry C. Stuart, and under it the name Kilgen, both neatly engraved. The bottom Principal pipe likewise contains the name of C.S. Brandrup, in later years an organ builder in Brooklyn. On another pipe is the name of E. Riley, and under it is Kilgen. Still another pipe reveals the name of Edwin J. Dennoyer & Co. Each set of pipes has the name of Kilgen.

    J. George Kilgen came from Germany to New York in 1849, worked for Jardine, and in 1851 established his own factory in New York, where he built organs until moving to St. Louis in 1873. Since his name appears on all four sets of pipes, it is presumed that this is one of the first Kilgen organs, or at least that he furnished the pipes for it. The action is direct, with no trackers except for the thirteen pedal keys, which merely pull down the lower pallets of the manual.

The fate of this organ is unknown.

Manual – 54 notes
  Principal treble
  Clariana (TG)
  Principal bass
  Stopped Diapason treble
  Stopped Diapason bass
Pedal Organ – 13 notes
pulldowns from the manual, no pipes
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     North Carolina Central University Library, James E. Shephard Collection:
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specification of George Kilgen Organ (c.1855). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.