The organ at Faith Episcopal Church, Poulsbo

By George Daniels

During a trip to the Philadelphia in August of 2017, Bob Kernaghan had an opportunity to visit with friend Wesley D. Parrott, the organist for St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Cathedral Road in Philadelphia. It was such a strange coincidence when Bob and Wesley were talking at the coffee hour that the subject of the Faith Episcopal Church organ came up. Wesley told Bob that he traveled to Poulsbo in the early 1970s to install the organ that now resides at the church.

The organ is dedicated to:

Helen Ottalie Lounsbury
1901 – 1975

By her family
Mrs. Jo Ann Kettel
Mrs. Doris Mae Schenaker
Harold E. Lounsbury

Here is, in Wesley’s own words, the history of the Faith Episcopal Church organ:

“I am delighted to tell you that your little organ built by Henry Niemann of Baltimore, Maryland, originally was built for Trinity Protestant Episcopal Cathedral, in Easton, Maryland [editor’s note: in 1886] [Listing in The Organ Historical Society Pipe Organ Database]. I heard it many times as a child and played it occasionally for services at the Cathedral. I remember being very sorry that it was being replaced in the 1970’s by a contemporary organ by the M. P. Moller Organ Company in Hagerstown, MD. Niemann was born in Germany, and eventually moved to Baltimore. It was only later that I discovered that Niemann had apprenticed with both Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and Charles Barker, Cavaillé-Coll having been the greatest organ builder in France from mid 19th century into the 20th century. Henry Niemann built organs for four churches in Easton, MD, and numerous organs in Baltimore and across several nearby states.  Unfortunately, due to changes in taste and demolition by neglect, most of his instruments are no longer around, or have occasionally been incorporated into much larger instruments.”

His tonal style remained much the same among his instruments and are quite distinctive. They have a clearer, brighter tone than others of the same period. The organ at your church remains exactly as it was the day it came from the factory! Quite an achievement considering its age….”

Church Organist:

  • 1989 Organists:
    Isabel Copeland *Bio Below
    Marian Ludicke
    Jessie Butterfield
    Lorie Scott
  • 2019 Organist:
    Howard Bye

*Isabel Copeland’s bio according to Sumaya Ifland:

“Isabel and her Husband Rob were part of the St Charles congregation very early on. Rob was part of a bible study with my older brother and Isabel helped in the office (I remember she counted money after the services) and was the church organist. If I was quick enough to get to her after she finished playing, she would let me push in all the stops and flip the switch for the bellows. She was a very loving and joyful lady. My parents asked Isabel and Rob to be my Godparents in the early 1990s and Isabel would often take me on adventures after church over the next decades. As an organist, she loved going to organ recitals and would bring me along. We would sit next to each other in the pews of churches all across the county listening to classical pieces. Isabel was the organist at St. Charles for 40 years. “

With a gift of $23,000 from an anonymous donor Faith commissioned Bond Organ Builders, Inc .of Portland, OR in December of 2020 to refurbish and tuned up the 100 plus year old organ. The work was completed in early 2021.