St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church

In, 1890, Highland Park was out in the wilds – no paved streets, electricity
or sidewalks. The city basically ended at East End Avenue, now known as
Central Avenue. In 1889 a Methodist Sunday School was formed and, in 1890,
the Annual Conference sent the group its own minister – John Wesley Smith.
The church was formed that year. A small red brick church was built in 1892
near Beech and Union and the congregation took the name Beech Street
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The cornerstone for the present building
was laid on November 4, 1907. The walls and roof of the auditorium were
finished and the little red brick church next to it was torn down to make
way for the Sunday School building. The auditorium was far from complete.
The walls were not plastered, the floors were not finished and the windows
not placed. A big stove in the center of the room furnished the heat. The
large 800-seat fan-shaped auditorium and the adjoining 200-seat Sunday
School auditorium were not completed until 1916, at which time the
Felgemaker was installed. The church was re-named Highland Park Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, during this period. The church grew quickly,
peaking at over 2,000 by the end of World War II. After the war, the
communities of Brainerd and East Ridge became the places to move to escape
the encroaching city and the membership number began a slow, but very steady
decline that has dropped to the current 165 members. Attendance is around
65, which is considerably lower than the average age of the congregation.

When the church was at Beech Street, they had a pump organ and their own
orchestra. The Felgemaker installed in 1916 has a very pleasant and gentle
tone, though the Great 8′ Open Diapason does add a significant amount of
weight to the ensemble. The reedless Oboe is actually a very keen string
that does double duty – and is amazingly effective. The Organ Supply
Company console was added in 1953 and the organ was renovated by Barger &
Nix in 1998.

A. B. Felgemaker (Erie Organ Co.), 1916, 2/13


8′ Open Diapason
8′ Melodia
8′ Dulciana
4′ Flute d’Amour


16′ Bourdon
8′ Open Diapason
8′ Stopped Diapason
8′ Salicional
8′ Voix Celeste
8′ Aeoline
4′ Harmonic Flute
8′ Oboe


16′ Bourdon
16′ Lieblich Gedeckt SW
8′ Flute 12