Home Uncategorized New bells a first for First United Methodist Church

New bells a first for First United Methodist Church

Verdin Company contracters Taylor Hyder of Atlanta and Justin McVice of Houston install brass bells in First United Methodist Church’s bell tower Tuesday morning. The bells are a first for the church, which were donated in honor of the late Ora Orville Hammons and will sound at the top of the hour during the day. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

For the first time in the church’s history, First United Methodist Church of Minden now has brass bells for “God’s Call.”

The Rev. Brian Mercer, pastor, says the present sanctuary was built in 1988 with a bell tower.

Since then, the chimes that have struck every hour on the hour have been from a digital system.

“It’s been a long awaited hope to put brass bells there in the bell tower,” he said. “We’ve had a Clarion system, which is a digital system that plays through a loud speaker. We stopped using that system about six months ago when it failed.”

The system was in the smaller bell tower.

Mercer said the Hammons family bought and paid for the bells and installation in memory of Lydianne V. Hammons’ late husband, Ora Orville Hammons, who passed away June 2, 2011.

“The meaning for us is the righteousness of Christ can ring throughout all of Minden when the bells are heard,” he said. “We would hope the sound of the bells would be a reminder of God’s presence in Minden. The Word of God says, ‘Make joyful noise unto the earth.’ The bells of FUMC of Minden, we pray will be a joyful noise to all that hear.”

The joyful melody will come from three bells. The largest weighs about 1,000 pounds, while the others weigh in around 500 and 250 pounds. Mercer says each bell rings a different sound, the largest bell giving off the deepest tones.

Verdis Company contractor Taylor Hyder adjusts the mechanics inside the bells Tuesday morning. The bells will be electronically controlled. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Verdin Bells and Clocks, a 175-year-old company in Cincinnati, constructed and installed the bells. Mercer offered a special thank you to McInnis Brothers Construction for their engineering and construction of the added structure to hold the weight of the bells and its frame.

The bells began their chimes at 7 a.m. Wednesday, and Mercer says they are set up on a system to ring on the hour each hour of the day until 8 p.m. On Sundays, he says at 10:30 a.m., a melody peal, or a “call to worship” peal, will ring signaling the beginning of worship services each week.