First Presbyterian Church
Bowling Green, KY

Aeolian-Skinner/Sipe Op. 1535 2/29 (1973)


8' Principal 61
8' Gedeckt 61
4' Octave 61
4' Nachthorn 61
2' Flachflote 61
IV-V Mixture 292


8' Rohrbordun 61
8' Gemshorn 61
8' Gemshorn Celeste 49 tc
4' Spillflote 61
2' Principal 61
1 1/3' Quint 61
III Scharf 183
8' Hautbois 61


16' Subbass 32
8' Principal 32
8' Gedeckt 32
4' Choralbass 32
II Mixture 64
16' Fagott 32

Source: Aeolian Skinner Archives


The Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky is a product of divisions and mergers. In 1819, the Reverend Joseph B. Lapsley established a church of mostly Rockbridge County, Virginia women and men and two slaves who had begun residence in Warren County, Kentucky. The church was located in the town’s original cemetery. In 1833, construction began on the present edifice; members and townspeople contributed money and in-kind service to house a female academy in the basement and a worship place in the level above. Hugh Roland, recently of Nashville and then of Louisville, designed the Gothic Revival structure. The building was occupied as a hospital during the Civil War.

The congregation of 750 is the successor to all the divisions in the Presbyterian Church: Old School, New School, North/South of Civil War, Cumberland. In 1949, First Church and Westminster Church united and chose to worship in the older of the two buildings. Several additions to the original building occupy the corner of State Street and Tenth Avenue in downtown Bowling Green.

The present pipe organ was installed in 1973—two manuals, pedal, tracker action and 29 ranks. It was the last Aeolian-Skinner contract. Robert L. Sipe of Dallas assumed the contract when Skinner was unable to perform it. It has served the congregation beautifully in worship and in concert. Taylor and Boody is currently under contract to clean, repair and revise the instrument. That organ is the fourth to serve the church. The first was a hand-pumped, perhaps one manual, pipe organ installed in the gallery. The next two organs were provided by Henry Pilcher’s Sons.