Bethlehem Lutheran Church

720 South Second Street
Mankato, MN 56001

Builder: Holtkamp Organ Co (Opus 1958, 1980)
Manuals: 2
Stops: 22
Ranks: 31
Action: Electro-pneumatic

Notes: Bethlehem was dedicated November 3, 1968 and had the same architect as First Lutheran in nearby St. Peter. There are subtle similarities between buildings. Unlike First Lutheran with a high ceiling over the entire church, Bethlehem's ceiling is angled to a low point in the balcony. This precluded placing a pipe organ there. Holtkamp's design repurposed the right front of the church for organ and choir, successfully using the highest point in the room so the organ can soar almost to the ceiling where it benefits acoustically.

16' Pommer
8' Principal
8' Rohrgedackt
4' Octave
4' Open Flute
2' Super Octave
2-2/3' Sesquialtera II
1-1/3' Mixture IV
8' Trumpet

8' Gemshorn
8' Copula
4' Principal
4' Rohrflöte
2' Doublette
1-1/3' Larigot
    Scharf III
8' Cromorne

16' Principal
16' Pommer
8' Octave
8' Flute
4' Choralbass
2' Mixture III
16' Posaune

A memory from Mark Thompson
Dr. Paul Manz played the dedicatory. I came an hour early to get a front row seat, which is too close to the organ, but I wanted to watch him play. Pews had had to be removed from the organ's location (the original electronic was in the balcony, which had no space for a pipe organ) but someone missed one of the floor bolts that had held the pews, and Manz stumbled over it. I thought that the dedicatory had come to a very unfortunate end, but he recovered without falling--still scares me to think about it, though.

The day was extraordinarily hot, and the room was packed--actually, there were people standing. At one point, Manz played with left hand and pedals while he removed his glasses, grabbed a handkerchief, wiped his face, put his glasses back on, and continued playing. I doubt anyone not in a position to see this happen could have noticed anything in the sound of the music. --Mark Thompson