The St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Foundation of Marion, Iowa is pleased to introduce our newly restored 1928 Ernest M. Skinner pipe organ. On November 11, 2012 Skinner Organ Company Opus 695 played Sunday services for the first time in many years. It was immediately evident to all in attendance that the instrument was a perfect match for its new home in the Faith Worship Center at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. One week later internationally acclaimed organist Ken Cowan played two dedicatory concerts for over five hundred parishioners and other organ enthusiasts from near and far.
Originally installed at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, New York, Opus 695 was purchased by the St. Mark’s Foundation early in 2011. The instrument was dismantled and shipped to the workshop of organ curator JL Weiler, Inc. in Chicago. Over the next year-and-a-half, Jeff and his associates lovingly restored the instrument to pristine playing condition. All parts were meticulously dismantled, cleaned, refinished, and rebuilt. Opus 695 was re-leathered and extensively rewired to insure its viability for decades to come. The organ is wholly original and intact as conceived and built in the Massachusetts workshops of the Skinner Company.
Opus 695 speaks with such clarity, quality, and vitality that it has already acquired a reputation as one of the finest Skinner restorations in the nation. The success of this project is a tribute to the brilliant craftsmanship of the Weiler team, the conceptual qualities of the space created by Gary Landhauser, architect for Design Associates of Cedar Rapids, and to the organ expertise and superb acoustical services of Scott Riedel & Associates of Milwaukee.
St. Mark’s is a Lutheran congregation affiliated since 2012 with the LCMC, or Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. Our Lutheran history and heritage go back more than 125 years, to 1886, when the congregation was founded. Our source for all teaching is the Bible, the inspired Word of God. Click here to see our core values and guiding principles.
Although we are a relatively large congregation with approximately 2200 partners (our name for members), we strive to maintain the close feeling of a smaller congregation by encouraging everyone to participate. We are a welcoming congregation with three different worship styles but one message.
Click here for directions for how to find us at 8300 C Ave NE. We are located in northeast Cedar Rapids, just north of the intersection of C Avenue NE and East Robins Road (Marion).
Todd Wilson, head of the organ department at The Cleveland Institute of Music, will present a concert at St. Mark´s on Sunday, April 24th, at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $10. Tickets are available on Sundays in The Crossings or from the church office. All are invited to a reception following the concert. The event is part of a year-long celebration of organbuilder E.M. Skinner´s 150th birthday.
The congregation of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church recognized that our pipe organs serve an important role in the worship and music life of our faith community. Always Casavant Opus 3262 and E. M. Skinner Opus 695 shall speak in praise, glorifying God, and leading worshipers in song. Further, these instruments will present opportunities for St. Mark’s to reach out to the larger community, creating an attractive venue where all are invited to hear great music.
A hardbound children´s book telling the story of how Opus 695 came to be at St. Mark´s is now available for purchase through the church office for $15 and also available on Amazon.com.