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The restored 74-year-old pipe organ at St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Decatur will be dedicated Sunday.

In a 3:30 p.m. service, Larry Wade, Northwest Christian Campus music teacher and keyboard player for Mount Zion United Methodist Church, will play the organ opening with "Life Every Voice and Sing," the black national anthem.

Neil Goodwin will play the trumpet. Wade's son, Harrison, 12, will play the piano. And Frankye Morgan, a 41-year church member, will sing, particularly the songs "I Dunno" and "Right on, King Jesus."

The 350-member St. Peter's congregation elected to restore the organ after it was damaged by water from a leaky roof in January 1998. The organ chamber was completely cleaned and renovated by the Schneider Pipe Organ Co. and other organ parts were restored or replaced in the $40,000 project, said the Rev. George A. Coates, the church's pastor of 31 years.

St. Peter's was organized in 1857 in the old Masonic Temple, located at the corner of North Park and North Water streets.

Decatur's first black settlers had worshipped together, but in 1857 they split into Baptist and Methodist denominations. The first full-time pastor was sent to St. Peter's in 1863.

The present church at 515 S. Church St. was built in 1927 and the organ was purchased and installed.

Decatur, Illinois
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