Support for Opus 695 is ongoing! If you would like to be a part of the Opus 695 family we invite you to make a financial contribution to the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Foundation.
Your gift is a way to “pay it forward”! Donations will ensure that the organ is maintained, tuned and, most importantly, played! Inviting world-renowned organists to present concerts is a way we can share this unique instrument, not only with the Cedar Rapids community, but also with music lovers from far and wide. Opus 695 is already drawing interest from across the country.
Ernest M. Skinner was an expert organ builder, and his remaining instruments are highly prized! Opus 695 is among a select few Skinner organs that have not been altered in any way. Adding to its unique character is the fact that Opus 695 has been restored and relocated while maintaining its full original integrity as conceived by Mr. Skinner. People who love great music and organ students will be drawn to Cedar Rapids to see, hear and play this fine instrument.
Word is spreading; Cedar Rapids is becoming a destination for organ enthusiasts. In addition to Opus 695, the community is home to Skinner organs at Coe College and the Brucemore estate, as well as superb theater pipe organs located at the Paramount Theatre and Theatre Cedar Rapids. Exciting collaborations are already being planned to highlight these magnificent examples of the organ builder’s art.
Again, a financial contribution to the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Foundation will make you a part of this story! Please see the St. Mark’s Foundation page of this website for information about the Foundation and details of how you can make a contribution.
Joseph G. Bradley, Jr. (1915-1990) was a philanthropist who loved Ernest M. Skinner pipe organs and was committed to ensuring that these beautiful instruments would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. In the early decades of the 20th century his father made a fortune in the coal and timber industries in West Virginia. Joseph, Jr. firmly believed he had a civic duty to preserve and enhance the nation’s cultural heritage.
Through the creation the Joseph G. Bradley, Jr. Charitable Foundation, he guaranteed that Skinner organs in need of restoration would receive the attention and care necessary to keep them playing. Under the trusteeship of Andrew Nehrbas of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the Foundation has helped bring new life to more than a dozen Skinner organs. We are extremely pleased that the Bradley Foundation has made a significant pledge to the Skinner Opus 695 project at St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Foundation
“Leaving a Legacy of God’s Goodness”
The purpose of the Foundation is to promote, encourage and assist the work and mission of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is not meant to replace or alter current giving to the church. Foundation and church (general fund) donations are administered separately.
Gifts to the Foundation are invested into several funds by the nine-member board of directors, elected by the congregation for six-year terms. Three director positions are up for election every second year. The board’s primary responsibility is to supervise management of Foundation assets. The board also elects officers of the Foundation – President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Officers and directors do not receive compensation.
Background and Philosophy
The St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Foundation was formed in 1977 as a nonprofit organization to support the worthy causes and programs of St. Mark’s. By remembering the Foundation in your planned giving, you will ensure that the programs of St. Mark’s thrive forever.
How Do I Make a Gift?
You can contribute to the Foundation through estate bequests, life insurance policies, memorials, charitable trusts, gift annuities, real estate, or personal gifts. By bequeathing to St. Mark’s Foundation and including instructions in your will, you are assured that your wishes will be followed.
For more information
Please contact Timothy Wuest, Foundation president for more information.
“God has given each of you a gift…Use them well to serve one another…Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:10-11