Grace Church (Episopal) in Jamaica, Queens, New York
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Grace Church
(Episcopal)

155-03 Jamaica Boulevard
Jamaica (Queens), N.Y. 11432


Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1862):
III/18 M.P. Möller, Op. 6286 (1935)
• II/10s Hutchings-Votey (1908)
• II/14 George Jardine & Son (1862)
Second building (1822-burned 1861):
• George Jardine (1849) – burned 1861
• unknown builder (1835)
First building (1734-1822):
• no organ


Grace Episcopal Church dates from 1702, when the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts sent over Rev. Patrick Gordon, with the title of "rector of Queens county" and an allowance of £50 per annum. In passing through New York he caught a violent fever then prevalent there, and, going on to Jamaica with intent to preach in his parish, was taken sick the day before he designed to preach, and so continued till his death, about eight days after. Lord Cornbury appointed to succeed Mr. Gordon Rev. James Honeyman, who writes (April 15th 1704) that "we have a church (the meeting-house) but neither Bible nor prayer book, no cloths for pulpit or altar." The society sent over a silver paten and chalice, inscribed, "The gift of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1704." This chalice is still in use.

1734 edifice of Grace Church (Episopal) in Jamaica, Queens, New York  
Grace Church 1734-1822  
After worshiping five or six years in the county courthouse the people began to exert themselves toward building a new church, and solicited, help from abroad. On Friday April 5th 1734 the new church was opened, with the name of Grace Church, and divine service performed there for the first time. About this time, the church's cemetery was established. During the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), Grace Church served as the official church of the British colonial government.

  1822 edifice of Grace Church (Episopal) in Jamaica, Queens, New York
 
Grace Church 1822-1861
The old church had been often repaired, but kept getting out of order, so that on receipt of a gift of $1,000 from Trinity Church, and $1,000 by home subscription, the plan of a new church was adopted September 7th 1820; $750 was borrowed. This church was consecrated July 15th 1822. Rufus King gave $500 and a stove, and he with Timothy Nostrand and L.E.A. Eigenbrodt assisted the carpenters in planning the edifice. The taste for church music was at a low ebb. Music books were few and not much studied, the singing being by rote rather than by note. Music such as it was vocal. In 1827 a flute was introduced, and then a bassoon. Not till 1835 was an organ introduced, a gift of the ladies of the missionary society. In 1860 the church was repaired, improved and beautified at a cost of $3,200, stained glass windows being put in at a cost of $300, mostly given by the ladies through Miss Anne Van Wyck; but on New Year’s morning of 1861 this comely edifice was burned to the ground by a fire originating in the flues of the furnace. The organ, two tablets containing the Lord’s Prayer, creed and ten commandments, a communion table of English oak and graceful pattern, a bell weighing over 400 lbs cast in 1748, two old locust trees and some tombstones were included in the ruin.

1861 edifice of Grace Church (Episopal) in Jamaica, Queens, New York  
Grace Church since 1862
 
On May 21, 1861 the vestry contracted with Dudley Fields to design the third and present church, an Early English Gothic-inspired edifice with a tall spire. The church has an exterior of rough-cut Jersey blue stone, measures 43 by 90 feet, and it was built by at a cost of $14,900. The cornerstone was laid by Bishop Potter on July 6, 1861, and the building was consecrated on January 8, 1863. A chancel was designed by Cady, Berg & See and added in 1901-02.

The greatest benefactors of the church have been the King family. Rufus King procured much help to the church from "Old Trinity." His son, Governor John A. King, besides bountiful contributions in money gave land for enlarging the church yard at different times. In 1847 he gave a baptismal font of Italian marble. In 1862 an organ was given the church in the name of John A. King and Mary, his wife. Mrs. James G. King gave a large Oxford Bible and four large prayer books. Mrs. James G. King sen. gave a beautiful stone font. The bishop’s chair and books for the reading desk were gift of the King family. On January 15th 1867 Mrs. Charles King had three tablets for the creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the ten commandments set up in the rear of the chancel. On the death of John A. King it appeared that he had left $1,000 to the church to keep the burying ground in good order, and his executors gave the church more land for a cemetery at a nominal price.

In 1967, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commissioned designated Grace Episcopal Church and Graveyard as an historic site.
           
M. P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 6286 (1934)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 32 stops, 18 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir
8
  Diapason
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Melodia
CH
    Harp
CH
8
  Dulciana
CH
    Celesta
CH
4
  Octave
73
    Chimes  
4
  Flute Harmonique
CH
    Great to Great 16'  
    Grave Mixture II ranks
122
    Great to Great 4'  
8
  Tromba
61
    Unison Off  
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [unit]
97
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Diapason
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Chimney Flute [ext.]
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Salicional
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Voix Celeste [TC]
61
    Swell to Swell 16'  
4
  Orchestral Flute [ext.]
    Swell to Swell 4'  
2
  Piccolo [ext.]
    Unison Off  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed with Great
8
  Geigen Principal
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Melodia
73
    Harp  
8
  Dulciana
85
    Celesta  
4
  Flute Harmonique
73
    Chimes
GT
4
  Dulciana [ext.]
    Choir to Choir 16'  
2 2/3
  Dolce Nazard [ext.]
    Choir to Choir 4'  
2
  Dolce Fifteenth [ext.]
    Unison Off  
8
  Clarinet
73
       
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Diapason [ext. GT]
12
8
  Flute Major [ext.]
12
16
  Bourdon
32
8
  Dolce Flute
SW
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
8
  Tromba *
GT
8
  Octave
GT
   
* later changed to 16' reed
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'       Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'       Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'       Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
           
Earlier organ in present building:

Hutchings-Votey Organ Co.
Cambridge, Mass. (1908)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 10 stops


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Previous organ in present building:

George Jardine & Son
New York City (1862)
Mechanical action


The first organ in the present church was built by George Jardine & Son of New York City. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Organ in second building:

George Jardine
New York City (1849)
Mechanical action


This organ burned with the church in 1861. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
First organ in second building:

Unknown Builder
(1835)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Dolkart, Andrew S. and Matthew A. Postal. Guide to New York City Landmarks (Third Edition). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004.
     History of Queens County, New York, with Illustrations, Portraits & Sketches. New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1882.
     Ladd, Horatio Oliver. The Origin and History of Grace Church, Jamaica, New York. New York: Shakespeare Press, 1914.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.

Illustrations:
     History of Queens County, New York, with Illustrations, Portraits & Sketches.