Our Lady of Peace (Resurrection) Catholic Church

5406 12th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Builder: Wicks Organ Co, Opus 600, 1925
Rebuilt by Alfred Bender, 1971
New Relay by Obermeyer Organ Co, 2003
Manuals: 2
Ranks: 17
Action: Wicks Direct Electric

Notes: The organ was originally built for The Fontbonne College Chapel in St. Louis, MO, a school run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1967 it was traded and sold to technician (and eventually Wicks sales director) in Minneapolis, Alfred T. Bender, who rebuilt it by replacing magnets, adding new ranks, new combination action and blower, none of it of Wicks manufacture. It was installed at OLOP in 1971. In 2003 the Obermeyer Organ Co supplied new relay and combination action. The organ location is not clear from the pictures, but presumably is in chambers. The console appears to be right of the altar in some Facebook pictures.

8' Diapason
8' Melodia
8' Dulciana
8' Unda Maris
4' Principal
4' Gedeckt
2.2/3' Nazard
2' Octave
    Mixture II

16' Bourdon
8' Stopped Diapason
8' Salicional
8' Quintadena
4' Octave
4' Flute d'Amour
2.2/3' Nazard
2' Flautino (ext)
1.3/5' Tierce
8' Oboe

32' Resultant
16' Bourdon
16' Gedeckt (Sw)
8' Diapason (Gt)
9' Flute (Sw)
4' Principal (Gt)
8' Oboe (Sw)
4' Oboe (Sw)

Dear Mr. Greene:

Thanks for your inquiry about the organ at the above church. First of, all, Wicks has built several organs for Fontbonne College in St. Louis over the years.

The first was Opus #600 (1925), 12 ranks.
The second was Opus #2467 (1942) 5 ranks.
The third was Opus #4721 (1967) 12 ranks.

The third one [4721] is still at the college; the second one [2467] is presently in our shop being readied for resale. It's the first one [600] that we are talking about. Wicks serviced all these over the years; #600 was still in its original location in 1954. Here is its history, as described in our records.

Opus #600 was traded in by the College in 1967 and sold by Wicks to Mr. Alfred T. Bender, who was an organ technician in Minneapolis at that time. This organ had been built just before Wicks changed over their chest magnets (in 1926) from having flat return springs, which occasionally would break, causing repair problems, to the current coil springs. Mr. Bender rebuilt it (instead of replacing the chest magnets with newer Wicks magnets he installed Reisner magnets in the chests), added a few ranks "of local manufacture," and then resold it to Resurrection Catholic Church in Minneapolis with a new blower, and installed it there in March 1971. Mr. Bender also included a Klann combination action, which by 1981 was proving to be "not too dependable."

The Resurrection church building was renamed Our Lady of Peace following a merger of two parishes about 1990; the organ was not moved at that time. The 2003 work was done by Obermeier Co. and it included new relays and combination action. There was also talk then of more additions in the future; our file ends in 2002 so we don't know if anything more was done. The Opus number has never changed and as far as Wicks is concerned it's still #600, even though the organ now contains a lot of non-original components.

As you can see, both the Church's history and the OHS data contain errors - if you can get these corrected it would perhaps help all concerned. Mr. Bender was at first an assistant to Wicks Minnesota Sales Director Ernst Vogelpohl of New Ulm, MN; after Mr. Vogelpohl's retirement he became Sales Director himself. During all this time he was also a technician with a service business. In the 1960's one of Mr. Bender's associates, Gerald Orvold of Minneapolis, left to go into business for himself, and Mr. Orvold eventually became Wicks's Sales Director until his own retirement. In 1971, when this organ was installed at Resurrection Catholic Church, Mr. Bender's address in Minneapolis was 4007 Dupont Avenue, North [55412].

That's all we know - I hope this is helpful to you.


John E. Sperling
Tonal Director Emeritus
Wicks Organ Company
1100 5th St. Highland, IL 62249
TEL (618) 654-2191