NEW: Gardens church raises $61,000 to replace organ fried by burglars


Highlights

A person or people who tried to steal copper wiring triggered a power surge that ruined the organ.

The 150-member congregation bought a piano to go along with its new organ.

A year after it was struck by vandals, an LGBT church in Palm Beach Gardens has replaced its organ.

RELATED: LGBT church hopes to raise $61K by Easter after vandals damaged organ

A person or people who tried to break into the church and steal copper wiring in Sept. 2016 triggered a power surge that ruined the organ, Rev. Lea Brown said in February. She saw it as a simple burglary rather than a hate crime.

READ: Gay church in Palm Beach Gardens a place of healing and tears

Metropolitan Community Churches serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office responded but didn’t immediately arrest anyone in connection with the incident, Brown said. The church has since installed security cameras.

The 150-member congregation started a campaign in February that raised $61,000 for a Rodgers 599 organ and Yamaha C-3 grand piano. An old piano was squeaky and beyond repair, so they wanted to replace it, too, Brown had said.

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The church, 4857 Northlake Blvd., will host a “Jubilant Song Dedication Concert” 7 p.m. Nov. 18 to break in the instruments. Musicians from the church and community will sing sacred, classical and contemporary gospel songs.

The weekend will also be a celebration of the church’s 36th anniversary, Brown said.

“After our church was vandalized last year, the support from the community was overwhelming,” she said. “The kindness and generosity of so many people helped us to raise the more than $60,000 we needed to purchase these beautiful new instruments, so we are delighted to have this opportunity to share our gratitude with everyone.”

The church is split almost evenly between Protestants and Catholics, so the organ is very popular, Brown had said.

The Nov. 19 service will commemorate the start of the church with a guest preacher, Rev. Elder Rachelle D. Brown, according to the news release.



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