Fordham United Methodist Church

2543 Marion Avenue at Fordham Road
Bronx, N.Y. 10458
http://www.fordhamumc.org/

Organ Specifications:
2543 Marion Avenue at Fordham Road (since 1892)
Second building (since 1969)
II/21 Casavant Frères, Op. 3011 (1969)
First building (1892-1967)
• Clarence E. Morey (c.1913)
Marion Avenue, north of 194th Street (1858-1892)
• unknown

A few years following the 1841 arrival of the new Harlem River railroad with its station the company named Fordham, a small village began to grow around the depot. In time, a small hotel, a general store and a tavern were built nearby. To the west, on the hill by the road to the King's Bridge, were a number of small frame cottages erected some thirty years earlier to house farm workers on the Valentine property. The new Catholic College of St. John abutted the tracks to the east.

It was at this time that a society of Methodists was formed, with services held in each other's homes. The society acquired property on Marion Avenue, one block west of Webster Avenue, north of 194th Street, upon which the Church Extension Society financed the building of a neat wooden structure in 1858. The congregation was incorporated on April 14th of that year. The first pastor was Rev. Thomas Davis, who was supplied by the Local Preachers' Society. In 1870, the society was free of debt, and by 1885 the congregation numbered one hundred members and thirty-five communicants and was flourishing.

1892 building of Fordham Methodist Episcopal Church - Bronx, NY  
By 1892, the area population had grown, and on the northwest corner of Marion Avenue and Fordham Road, a new one-story brick church bearing a square crenellated bell tower was built. Lack of money meant some sacrifices were made and the Sunday School space was used as a sanctuary by moving back the sliding walls of the classroom. In 1933, a gymnasium was erected next to the church. On the evening of April 29, 1938, a fire caused considerable damage to the library and offices of the rectory, destroying many church records.

In 1967, the old brick building was demolished and for two years services were held in the gym as the present building was constructed. In keeping with Fordham United Methodist Church's commitment to diversity and tolerance, everything installed in the modern-style brick building was donated by the multi-ethnic community it serves. The pulpit was donated by Dr. Daniel Mantoccio, a Catholic neighbor, and Benjamin Bobkoff, a Jewish friend, donated the front panel and several pews. When the Bronx Hispanic population increased, the Fordham United Methodist Church responded with Spanish-speaking services as early as 1976.
         
Casavant Frères, Limitée
St. Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada – Opus 3011 (1969)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 21 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Prinzipal
56
2
  Blockflöte
56
8
  Rohrflöte
56
1 1/3
  Mixtur IV ranks
224
4
  Oktav
56
2 2/3
 
Sesquialtera II ranks
preparation
4
  Koppelflöte
56
   
Chimes
preparation
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes, enclosed
8
  Gedackt
56
2
  Prinzipal
56
8
  Gemshorn
56
2/3
  Scharf III ranks
168
8
 
Vox Coelestis [TC]
preparation
8
  Trompete
56
4
  Spitzflöte
56
  Tremulant  
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes

16
  Subbass
32
2
 
Mixtur III ranks
preparation
8
  Prinzipal
32
16
  Posaune [L/2]
32
4
  Choralbass
32
     
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal     Swell to Great
    Swell to Pedal      
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Pistons No. 1-2-3 (thumb) affecting Great and Pedal stops
Pistons No. 1-2-3 (thumb) affecting Swell stops
Pistons No. 1-2-3 (toe) affecting Full Organ
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Crescendo Pedal   Full Organ reversible
               
Indicators
    Crescendo          
    Full Organ          
    Wind          
         
Organ in 1892 church building:

Clarence E. Morey
Utica, N.Y. (c.1913)
Electro-pneumatic action


The August 1913 issue of The Diapason mentions that Clarence E. Morey was involved with an organ at Fordham M.E. Church. Morey succeeded John G. Marklove briefly with Clifford Marklove, later forming a partnership with A.L. Barnes in Utica, N.Y. from 1893-1895. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Casavant Frères Lté. Factory Specifications (Aug. 17, 1967) of Casavant Frères organ, Op. 3011. Courtesy Stanley Scheer.
     "Church Records Burned," The New York Times (Apr. 30, 1938).
     Fordham United Methodist Church web site: http://www.fordhamumc.org/
     Fox, David H. A Guide to North American Organbuilders (Rev. ed.). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Westchester County, New York, including Morrisania, Kings Bridge and West Farms which have been annexed to New York City. Philadelphia: L.E. Preston & Co., 1886.
     Trupiano, Larry. Electronic correspondence (Aug. 11, 2011) regarding organbuilder Clarence E. Morey.
     Twomey, Bill, and Thomas X. Casey. Northwest Bronx. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2011.

Illustration:
     Public Domain. Undated photo of 1892 church building.