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Christ Memorial Church - 2/7 Wurlitzer
Poulsbo, WA
Organ installation timeframe: 1975 - 1986
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According to Tim Gentry, his uncle Dave Gentry purchased the Seattle Ridge Rink organ in 1974. Dave, Tim's aunt, and several friends including Terry Hockmuth, loaded the organ onto a rental truck bound for Poulsbo, WA. According to Terry, the organ was on the Seattle-to-Bremerton ferry on Saturday, October 12th, 1974.
In the coming months Dave, Rod Trostad, and others installed the instrument in Poulsbo's Christ Memorial Church (CMC). The church had just purchased the former Poulsbo Elementary School from the North Kitsap School District. Tim recalls, "the organ was installed in, around, over, and under the stage area at one end of the gymnasium. The blower and trems were installed in a room under the stage, and the organ spoke from two louvered chambers on either side." The installation was completed around 1976. The gym was used as a school gym for Christ the King Academy during the week, and then converted to a sanctuary with a couple hundred folding chairs for Christ Memorial Church services on Sundays."
The console was refinished by Tim's grandfather, a high-quality cabinet maker and finish carpenter, in traditional Wurlitzer white and gold. According to Tim, "it was one of the few times he voluntarily used lacquer, and the finish was absolutely dazzling. The organ was my uncle Dave's pride and joy." Tim, 12 at the time, recalls the console situated near the front of the stage, and turned so that the audience could watch the organist play. He remembers attending several concerts there and listening to the organ fill the auditorium. Dave served as organist at CMC for several years.
The former Christ Memorial gymnasium building. Image courtesy Google Maps, 2018.
Stage end of the gymnasium building where the organ was installed. Image courtesy Google Maps, 2018.
Eventually a much larger church building was constructed on an adjacent lot, but the organ didn't make the move to the new sanctuary. According to the OHS database, a four-manual Reuter organ from Yakima's First Methodist Church was installed there by Rod Trostad in 1984. The Ridge Rink organ was later removed as part of converting the gymnasium back to fulltime use by the church school, Christ the King Academy. Dave stayed at CMC as church organist and choir director for several years after that, eventually moving to Rolling Bay Presbyterian where he was church organist until his death in 1989.
According to Tim, shortly after the new sanctuary was built the Wurlitzer organ was sold to Neighborhood Church in Chico, California. The church originally planned to install the instrument in their sanctuary, but didn't take into account the space required for the pipe chambers. The organ was then purchased by one of the church members and put into storage for ten years until he had a place ready for it in his residence in Magalia CA just outside of Chico.

Christ Memorial Church (CMC) had three locations in Poulsbo:
  • 1966 - 5th & Harrison St. Rod Trostad acquired and installed a 1913 J. W. Steere & Son organ from the East coast. This instrument was left in place when the facility was sold in 1974 to Liberty Bay Presbyterian.
  • 1975 - 705 NE Lincoln Rd. Site of the former Poulsbo Elementary School. Dave Gentry and Rod Trostad installed the former Ridge Rink organ in the gymnasium.
  • 1984 - 18901 8th Ave NE. CMC built a new, much larger sanctuary here which was adjacent to the Lincoln Rd. site. Rod Trostad acquired and installed a 1951 Reuter organ from Yakima.

    CMS eventually ceased operations and the campus was acquired by Gateway Fellowship and Christian School.

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