St. John the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Williamsburg) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)
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St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church
(Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod)

195 Maujer Street near Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11206
http://www.geocities.com/sjebrooklyn


Organ Specifications:
195 Maujer Street near Graham Avenue (since 1883)
II/23 Carl Barckhoff (1884); reb. c.1950, 1989, 1993
Wyckoff Street and Graham Avenue (1844-1883)
• I/ Ferris & Stuart (1847)




Started in 1844, the congregation which formed St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church was neither called St. John’s nor Lutheran. At first, the church was formed in order to provide worship and pastoral services in the German language to a growing population of Germans in a mostly Dutch and English speaking community. During its first decade, the church was located on the corner of Wyckoff (now Ten Eyck) and Graham Avenue. The congregation was a mixture of Reformed, Evangelical, and Lutheran people, and was known as the “German Evangelical Congregation.” In 1853, the church called a Lutheran pastor, Christian Weisel. Under Pastor Weisel, the congregation adopted a new constitution and a new name—“St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church.” During Pastor Weisel’s twenty-three years of ministry, St. John’s became a staunchly Lutheran congregation, and a member of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.

As more immigrants from German speaking lands poured into the community, St. John’s grew and prospered. In 1883, the congregation laid the cornerstone of the current building on Maujer street. St. John’s became one of the most prominent congregations of the Eastern district of the Missouri Synod—starting new congregations such as St. Peter’s in Cypress Hills and St. Paul’s in Bushwick.

But at the turn of the century the immigrants coming into Williamsburg were no longer mostly German Christians. This new wave of immigrants were from different lands. Some were Italian, many were Jewish. At the same time as the ethnicity and languages of Williamsburg changed, many of the German speaking residents began to move to Queens. Often the typical pattern for churches was to sell off the old property and build a new church closer to where the majority of members had moved. So it was that the members of St. John’s began a mission in Glendale. For many years the mission in Glendale and St. John’s functioned as one congregation with a single pastor, yet with two worship sites. But attention and resources increasingly shifted towards the mission and in 1937 a new building was dedicated there.

In 1953, the remnant of members who stayed in Williamsburg formed a new congregation on the old site called, “The Lutheran Church of St. John the Evangelist.” By this time the ethnicity of the housing projects (built in 1936) was changing again. Instead of Jews and Italians, African-American families were migrating from the south and other parts of New York. In addition, many Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic people were migrating from the Carribean.

Under Pastor Klopf, St. John’s received many of its first black families as members. In the 1960’s the church called as its pastor, the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus who intensified the outreach into the neighborhood and bolstered the programs at St. John’s by bringing in many volunteer workers from outside the neighborhood, including other clergy. Neuhaus and his staff became active in the Civil Rights movement. During the 1970s, as Rev. Neuhaus gained prominence as a writer and speaker, another pastor, Rev. John Heinemeier, was called to serve the parish. Rev. Heinemeier focused on social issues such as poverty and affordable housing, and during this time a Spanish speaking service was added. In 1978, the now predominantly black congregation received its first black pastor, Rev. Nathaniel Richmond.
           
  Console of Carl Barckhoff organ (1884) at St. John the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Williamsburg) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (credit: Keith Bigger)
Carl Barckhoff
Salem, Ohio (1884)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 21 stops, 23 ranks



For the present church building, a two-manual organ was built in 1884 by Carl Barckhoff of Salem, Ohio. About 1950, after more than 60 years of service, the organ was rebuilt by Frank C. Drews, who installed a new roller-board action and swell shade action. The organ may have been damaged by a 1978 fire in the church. In 1989, David Beaty made the organ playable, and added the Trumpet stop in 1993. Robert Schuneman repaired and restored the instrument at a later date.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
16
  Bourdon
58
4
  Octave
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Quint
58
8
  Melodia
58
2
  Super Octave
58
8
  Dulciana
58
    Mixture III ranks
174
8
  Brarren (Gamba)
58
8
  Trumpet [added 1993]
58
4
  Flute
58
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Stopped Flute
58
4
  Flute d'Amour
58
8
  Geigen Diapason
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Oboe
58
4
  Fugara
58
       
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
27
8
  Violon
27
16
  Bourdon
27
       
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Tremolo?
    Three composition pedals?    
               
Console of Carl Barckhoff organ (1884) at St. John the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Williamsburg) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (credit: Keith Bigger)   Pipe Facade of Carl Barckhoff organ (1884) at St. John the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Williamsburg) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (credit: Keith Bigger)
     
Pedalboard of Carl Barckhoff organ (1884) at St. John the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Williamsburg) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (credit: Keith Bigger)   Blower of Carl Barckhoff organ (1884) at St. John the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Williamsburg) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (credit: Keith Bigger)
           
Ferris & Stuart
New York City (1847)
Mechanical action
1 manual


In 1847, a one-manual organ was built for "St. Johannes Evangelical Lutheran (Graham Avenue)" in Brooklyn. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Organ Historical Society Pipe Organ Database: http://database.organsociety.org/SingleOrganDetails.php?OrganID=3812
     ;St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church web site: http://www.geocities.com/sjebrooklyn
     Schnute, David. Specifications of Carl Barckhoff organ (1884).

Illustrations:
     Bigger, Keith. Photos of Carl Barckoff organ (1884).
     Schmauch, Dave. Exterior.