War Memorial Chapel (WMC),
honoring those that have died in battle for the
United States as well as those who have died for
the cause of Christ, was built when Bob Jones
University moved to Greenville, S.C. in 1947.
The original organ in the chapel was a pipe
organ until about 1968 when a 17 rank Allen
electronic organ was put in. Then, in
1988, a 17 rank
organ was installed.
War Memorial Chapel organ has an amazing story behind it. Dr. Ed Dunbar explains in his own words: "We purchased this organ in early 1988, buying it from a church in Arizona through a technician in Atlanta. The church was in the middle of a building project when they discovered the architect had failed to leave room for pipe chambers. They were forced to sell a 5-year-old instrument and buy an electronic.
We had been praying for a pipe organ for the
Chapel for quite some time. Dr. Jones III liked the idea, but no funds were available and he suggested we start
looking for a donor. When we approached him about bidding on this instrument, he approved our going ahead with the project. Funds had just come to the University from Dr. Jean Saito and her brother in memory of their parents. The Saitos agreed that these funds could be used in their memory.
The bid was accepted, the University sent men out to move the organ from Arizona to Atlanta, and work was begun in early 1988 on some slight modifications to allow the organ to work in the Chapel. We added two new ranks-- a 4' flute on the Great and a 16' Principal (extension) in the pedal. The instrument was installed in the summer of 1988.
This instrument is almost the exact instrument we had requested when we approached Dr. Jones two or three years earlier.
We had chosen a builder,
too. It was the same builder as the organ in Arizona. The Lord was definitely in this
tell people we were looking for an organ
donor, and we found one.
We also had
an organ transplant, since
the organ came from Arizona to BJU.
This instrument was planned by the Lord for BJU- it just spent it's
first five years in a Methodist church in Arizona."
There are seven paintings in the chapel done by the American artist Benjamin West. The one shown behind the organ is "The Ascension of Christ". These paintings were commissioned by King George III. More information on these paintings and others in the
Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery can be found by visiting their website.
The dedicatory recital was played by Dr. Dunbar on January 15, 1989. To see the program,
click here. Please click to listen to a sample of a selection from the
original dedication recital.
samples of the War Memorial Chapel organ are available in the "Sounds"
section! Below you will find the specification list for this
gain a better view of the interior, the
War Memorial Chapel can be
in 360° by visiting the BJU website.