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January 29, 2013

Chuch offered auction item by James Taylor to raise money

JEFFERSONVILLE — The congregation has been referring to the church they attend the “James Taylor church” for some time.

Through a fundraising effort, the folk musician has reached out to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to help reinvigorate the music they hear. The church is trying to raise a total of $51,000 to disassemble, move, restore and install a 10-rank pipe organ in its building.

St. Paul’s Rev. Donald Hill explained the church put together a video and posted it online to request donations on a crowd funding website to have the organ installed. The church has already raised about half of the $51,000 needed to restore the organ.

Bart Fisher, church member and chairman of the pipe-organ committee, said that when the church posted the call for donations on the website it used “Fire and Rain” as the theme, which in turn caught the attention of James Taylor’s representatives.

“Fire and Rain” is one of Taylor’s iconic songs, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard charts in the 1970s, as well as being listed on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

He explained that the “Fire and Rain” name was adopted by the church because it has survived the 1937 flood and a fire in the parish hall that damaged the sanctuary in 1981, in addition to more recent damage in to the church’s basement when it flooded following a massive rain in 2009.

The 1981 fire damaged the church’s previous organ and since that time, St. Paul’s has been using an electronic organ. In addition to being out-of-date, the goal of St. Paul’s in installing a new organ was to restore the Victorian appearance and musical heritage of the parish, which was originally built in 1892.

But when the church used the song title in its funding effort, it did not expect to be contacted by Taylor.

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