Dr. Peggy Edwards, Dean: (660) 446-2003

The American Guild of Organists fosters the appreciation and enjoyment of organ and choral music through recitals and workshops.

Although the “Carnegie” name is often associated with U.S. Steel, Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Institute and Carnegie public libraries built in small towns across the country, from 1901 to 1919, Andrew Carnegie’s largess, through the Carnegie Corporation also helped  almost 7,700 small churches purchase a pipe organ by contributing 50% of the cost.  One of those fortunate congregations was the Hope Reformed Church, east of St. Joseph.    



In December 1854, forty Swiss immigrants gathered in the home of Christian Schneider to organize a congregation of the Reformed Church, without the aid of a clergyperson or missionary.  These immigrants had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing with them their native faith and creed of the Reformed Church of Switzerland.  They landed in New Orleans in May 1854 and traveled up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers until they reached St. Joseph.  They purchased land from slave owners and settled northeast of St. Joseph, in the vicinity of a small group of Swiss immigrants who had arrived in the 1840’s.  Their descendants make up a large part of the present congregation.

The group initially worshiped with another group under a large tree several miles south of Savannah, Missouri.  After organizing in 1854, they met in different homes and were assisted by itinerant evangelists of various creeds while maintaining their Reformed creed and instructing their children in the same.  About 1859, a log cabin was built on the site of the present Oak Ridge Cemetery, just north of the present church site, to serve as a meeting place.  It wasn’t until 1865 that they learned for the first time of the existence of the Reformed Church in the United States, when a young minister of that denomination presented himself and discovered that this group had organized themselves without any knowledge of the other Reformed Churches in this country.

A frame building was constructed on the present site in 1869 and was replaced by the present edifice in 1914.  In 1915, the congregation purchased an 8 stop pipe organ, built by the Votteler-Holtkamp-Sparling Organ Co. of Cleveland, Ohio.  The organ cost $2,040, $1,000 of which was contributed by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation.   At that time, the company was a small, regional builder.  Most of their instruments were sold and installed in the state of Ohio.  In 1970, the organ underwent an extensive rebuilding by local organbuilder, Colin Campbell.  At that time, the organ was converted from tubular-pneumatic action to electro-pneumatic action.  Campbell replaced most of the original chests, wind reservoirs, and console.  Four new stops, including an Oboe were added.   The original impost and pipe fence remains.

Through a series of denominational mergers, Hope Reformed Church became Hope Evangelical & Reformed in 1934 and Hope United Church of Christ in 1957. 





Cosby, Missouri


Rebuilt by Campbell Organ Service (Colin Campbell), St. Joseph, Missouri 1970

 now with Klann console

II/16  Electro-pneumatic pitman chests

For full information on what these stops mean, click HERE


8’  Principal

8’  Melodia

8’  Dulciana

8’  Unda Maris TC

4’  Octave

4’  Quintadena

1 1/3’ Mixture IV




 8’  Gedeckt

8’  Salicional

8’  Aeoline Celeste TC

4’  Nachthorn

8’  Oboe


16’ Bourdon

16’ Lieblich Bourdon

8’   Basse Flute

8’  Gedeckt (Sw)

4’  Flute (Sw)




Reconstruction of Hope United Church of Christ pipe organ in 1970. The exterior facade was removed in order to install new Great and Swell division chests, which are waiting to receive the pipework on the floor in the foreground


Some of the Swell division pipework in place during the rebuilding of the organ in November, 1970



Information provided by David Lewis

Web Design by Wally Bloss

Updated February 18, 2010 .  2000 Allied Arts Council of St. Joseph, Inc. Special thanks to CCP Online for hosting this site. Funding for this site has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council.