Immanuel Lutheran Church
Eudunda Road, Point Pass

B 1876 D.H. Lemke.
1m, 4spst, no pedals, tr. Man:


From the 2009 OHTA Conference Book, David Shield writes:


Both Lutheran Churches at Point Pass had pipe organs.  The first Lutheran church, Immanuel, established in the district in 1871, obtained an instrument from Daniel Lemke which it retains.  St Peter’s Lutheran, created as a result of schism, also acquired a pipe organ, the provenance of which is incomplete.  It appears to have been made by Walter Rendall for an Adelaide music teacher and is now to be found in the Lutheran church of St Michael at Marananga.  In 1960, the two parishes amalgamated.1


The first German settlers came from Light Pass in 1868.  Pastors Rechner and Appelt conducted services in the homes of members alternately about every six weeks until the first church, Immanuel, was built and dedicated, on Ascension Day 1871.  At this point, Pastor Appelt’s followers withdrew and built their own church at Emmaus.  A second building was dedicated on 9 April 1876 with tower, spire, and bell being added in 1913.  The Lemke organ was placed into the new church at the time of dedication.  Pastor Stolz was installed as the first resident pastor.2






As with each of the Lemke instruments, this single-manual short compass organ has four ranks of pipes with pitch designations only given on the stop labels.  Again, only the two wooden ranks were made by Lemke.  Stiller found the metal ranks to be odd secondhand pipes bearing various inscriptions such as “Har” “Gam” “15” “Pr” and “Op”, which allows for some conjecture as to their origin.3  Situated in the west end gallery, the organ’s provenance is determined by the existence of a paper label on the c0 pipe of the 8 Gedact of larger scale.  The inscription reads “D.H. Lemke Moculta April 9th 1876.”  This allows the question to be asked as to whether Lemke originally repeated this practice on the other organs he constructed but with the passage of time they have disappeared.  Foot blown by treadles, an electric motor to supply the winding was also added in 1975.  Apparently the organ was dismantled during World War II by the Revd H.F.W. Proeve and placed into storage.4



Daniel Lemke 1876

1 manual, 4 speaking stops, no pedals, mechanical action



8 [Gedact of larger scale]

8 [Gedact of smaller scale]

4 [Principal]

2 [Octave]


Compass 49 notes C-c

Pitch designations only on stop labels

Foot and electric blown






The schism in the Lutheran Church of 1884 resulted in a further division of the congregation and St Peter’s congregation was established in the Point Pass township.  Pastor Reusch, of Tanunda, ministered to the congregation from Tanunda with services initially in the Lutheran Day school.  The church of St Peter was dedicated on 6 December 1885.  A manse was built in 1887, with an addition in 1910.5


Little is known about the organ in this church.  Early minute books appear to be lost though it is known that J.T. Mickel used his own organ for the services previous to the opening of the church.  He was also responsible with Gehling for purchasing the first pipe organ for £75 on behalf of the congregation, though further information is needed to determine its provenance.6


The organ obviously had its difficulties.  Geyer was contacted for repairs costing £10/15/- in 1900.  By the fifth Sunday after Epiphany 1909, in a delightful turn of phrase, the organ “renounced its services”.  The congregation decided to purchase a new American organ and consequently put down a deposit of £25 trusting they could find the balance.7


However, a postcard throws some doubt as to the dates of the narrative.  In August 1905, J.E. Dodd briefly replied to an enquiry from a Mr G.A. Keller who gave the post office at Nurioopta [sic] as his address.  Dodd acknowledged the receipt of the post card of 12 July and said, “I do not make a practice of buying old pipe organs, but if you will fill in the accompanying form, I shall let you have a definite answer as to the possibilities of my placing it for you.”  There follows a list requesting the details of the organ with a final comment “Is it the organ lately owned by the Lutheran Church Point Pass”.8  This implies that (a) Dodd knew that the organ was either sold, or ready to be sold, by the church, and (b) Keller was in possession of the authority to sell the organ if the instrument was not in his possession.  A third implication is that the history of the church record is being questioned.


Exactly what transpired is unknown.  Presumably Geyer restored the organ before its placement in the Marananga church in 1915.9






1  Immanuel Church Point Pass: Friends of Lutheran Archives brochure, n.d..  No details of the bell.


2  Hebart Th., The United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Australia, (1938, 1985), p.270; a cemetery at the junction of Emmaus Road and the Robertstown Eudunda Road appears to be all that is left of the congregation worshipping at Emmaus.


3  See the discussion raised under the section for the organ at Ebenezer


4  Stiller, J. Documentation Immanuel Lutheran Church Point Pass Organ 21 December 1978, 21 December 1979.


5  Hebart Th., op.cit., p.272


6  St Petri Point Pass Souvenir 1885-1935, p.18


7  Lutheran Archives, Adelaide, Minutes of the Point Pass Congregation, pp.4-5, 16


8  J.E. Dodd to Mr G.A. Keller 8 August 190,5: DLB 1903-1909, pp.375-376


9  For a further discussion of this organ, see section on St Michael’s Lutheran Church, Marananga


Photos: Trevor Bunning (Oct 2009)