Thessalonia Baptist Church

951 Rev. James A. Polite (Stebbins) Avenue (since 1943)
The Bronx, N.Y. 10459
http://thessaloniabaptistchurch.org/

Organ Specifications:
951 Rev. James A. Polite Avenue (since 1943)
• III/ Rodgers Instruments electronic
V/86 Baldwin Organ Company electronic
• II/ "Style Church" Wurlitzer, Op. 560 (1922)
921 Eagle Avenue (1939-1943)
• unknown
314 East 158th Street (1934-1939)
• unknown
921 Eagle Avenue (1919-1934)
• unknown


The Thessalonia Baptist Church was organized in 1892 by seven members from Flavannah County, Va., who had relocated to New York. A mission was established in the Fordham section of the Bronx. The Rev. T. Wyatt served as pastor until 1894. The congregation moved to 921 Eagle Avenue in 1919, remaining there until 1934, when a new building was erected at 314 East 158th Street. Within five years the congregation was without a pastor or a place to worship, but services were held briefly in the Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church. On June 21, 1939, the congregation rented their former location at 921 Eagle Avenue. Minister James A. Polite assisted as supply pastor with the help of Rev. B. Bonaparte, Sr. 

During the church business meeting on October 4, 1939, a motion was carried that Minister Polite be ordained and become Pastor of the Thessalonia Baptist Church. On October 17, 1943, he led the congregation to purchase the former Temple Sinai on Stebbins Avenue. Rev. Polite served Thessalonia faithfully for 41 years until his death in September of 1980. In recognition of his dedicated service to church and community, Stebbins Avenue was renamed Rev. James A.  Polite Avenue in his honor, becoming the first street in New York City to have the title Reverend included in its name.

Since moving to its present location, Thessalonia Baptist Church has built a multi-million dollar Community Cultural Center. The Thessalonia Academy, Thessalonia Institute of Education/Religion and the TIR Bookstore are some of the in-house programs.

Thessalonia has a radio ministry broadcast over radio WWDJ-970AM at 9:30 PM on Tuesday evenings and television broadcast on Bronxnet Cable TV.
           

Rodgers Instruments LLC
Hillsboro, Ore.
Digital tonal production
3 manuals


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.

           
Baldwin Organ Company
Baldwin, Wisc. – Model C500
Electronic tonal production
5 manuals, 86 stops
   
   
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes

16
  Principal
2
  Super Octave
8
  Principal
  Cornet V ranks
8
  Bourdon
  Fourniture VI ranks
8
  Flute Celeste II ranks
  Mixture IV ranks
8
  Salicional
8
  Trumpet
4
  Octave
4
  Trumpet
4
  Rohr Flöte
  Tremolo
2 2/3
  Nazard
  Chimes

   

   
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, expressive

16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
2
  Flautino
8
  Principal
1 1/3
  Larigot
8
  Gedeckt
  Plein Jeu III ranks
8
  Viole
16
  Contra Fagott
8
  Viole Celeste II ranks
8
  Trompette
4
  Geigen
8
  Hautbois
4
  Chimney Flute
4
  Trompette
2 2/3
  Nazard
  Tremolo

   

   
Choir/Positiv Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, expressive

8
  Principal
2
  Doublette
8
  Hohl Flute
1 3/5
  Tierce
8
  Dulciana
1
  Sifflöte
8
  Unda Maris II ranks
  Mixture IV ranks
4
  Principal
8
  Cromorne
4
  Stopped Flute
  Tremolo
2 2/3
  Quint          

   

   
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, expressive

8
  Diapason
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
8
  Major Flute
8
  French Horn
8
  Gamba
8
  Cor Anglais
8
  Gamba Celeste II ranks
8
  Orchestral Oboe
4
  Orchestral Flute
4
  Tuba Clarion
4
  Gemshorn
  Tremolo
2
  Octavin
  Harp
16
  Basson          

   

   
Echo Organ (Manual V) – 61 notes, expressive

16
  Dulciana
  Mixture III ranks
8
  Cor de Nuit
16
  Bombarde
8
  Erzähler
8
  Festival Trumpet
8
  Erzähler Celeste II ranks
8
  Bombarde
8
  Echo Celeste II ranks
8
  Vox Humana
4
  Flauto d'Echo
4
  Bombarde
4
  Erzähler Celeste II ranks
  Super
2
  Flautino
  Tremolo

   

   
Pedal Organ – 32 notes

32
  Contra Bourdon
4
  Flute
16
  Principal
2
  Block Flöte
16
  Sub Bass
  Fourniture V ranks
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
32
  Contra Bombarde
16
  Violone
16
  Fagott
8
  Octave
8
  Trumpet
8
  Gedeckt
4
  Clarion
4
  Super Octave
4
  Schalmei
               
Couplers (activated by pistons)

    Great to Pedal     Echo to Great
    Swell to Pedal     Echo to Swell
    Choir to Pedla     Solo to Swell
    Solo to Pedal     Swell to Choir
    Echo to Pedal     Solo to Choir
    Swell to Great     Echo to Choir
    Choir to Great     Swell to Solo
    Solo to Great     Echo to Solo
               
Combination Pistons (8 memory levels)

    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Echo Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Solo Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Swell Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Great Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Choir/Positiv Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Pedal Organ
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Full Organ
    Cancel          
    Setter          
    A/P [Automatic Pedal?]          
    Tutti          
               
Pedal Movements

    Echo Expression Pedal    
    Choir Expression Pedal    
    Swell Expression Pedal    
    Solo Expression Pedal    
    Crescendo Pedal    
               
Accessories

    Transposer          
           

Wurlitzer Organ Company
North Tonawanda, N.Y. – Opus 560 (1922)
Electro-pneumatic action
"Style Church"
2 manuals, 7 ranks


The original organ in the present building was built by the Wurlitzer Organ Company and shipped July 18, 1922. Four fronts of "dummy" or non-speaking pipes masked the chamber openings. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.

           
Sources:
     Junchen, David L., comp. and ed. by Jeff Weiler. The WurliTzer Pipe Organ – An Illustrated History. Chicago: The American Theatre Organ Society, 2005.
     Kaufmann, Preston J. Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol. 3. Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1995.
     Thessalonia Baptist Church web site: http://thessaloniabaptistchurch.org/
     Trupiano, Larry. Specifications of Baldwin Organ Company (Model C500) organ.

Photos:
           

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