Presbyterians to celebrate Independence Day with special service

At 10:30 morning worship Sunday, July 4, the members of Tyrone’s Presbyterian Church will celebrate their nation’s birthday utilizing Congregation, Clergy, Composers, and the Church Carillon.
At this Sunday’s worship celebration, the Presbyterians congregation will participate in A Festival of Five Patriotic Carols. The ancient Protestant reformer Martin Luther reminded people that hymn-singing could improve them spiritually. Luther claimed that hymn-singing was a fair and glorious gift from God, that music made people kinder, gentler, more staid, and more reasonable.
In modern times, hymn editor Austin Lovelace reminds worshippers that the congregation always is the first choir. Inspired by these philosophies, the Presbyterian congregation will celebrate the birthday of their nation by singing a verse from these five beloved patriotic carols: The National Anthem, Battle Hymn of the Republic, America the Beautiful, God Bless America and Let There Be Peace on Earth.
Presbyterian clergyman Robert E. Dunkleberger will deliver a timely message for July 4 entitled Jefferson or Jesus. In his message, Pastor Bob will discuss Jefferson’s bible and will explore ways wherein Thomas Jefferson believed in a generic God, while authentic contemporary Christians worship a personal God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Church organist Richard Merryman will present a prelude and offertory based on music by two Tyrone composers. His prelude will feature the patriotic song Bless Us Lord In America by the late Frances (Mac) Stewart. Mrs. Stewart, a college music professor, member of the Trinity Episcopal Church, and avid golfer, wrote this prelude piece in 1976 for America’s Bicentennial. Stewart’s song won first place in a patriotic song contest sponsored by The Saturday Evening Post magazine.
At the organ offertory, Merryman will recall a Patriotic March and Two-Step written about 1904 by Tyrone composer, music store owner, and piano salesman Charles F. Zerbe. The father of Presbyterian church member Burley Zerbe of Madison Avenue, Charles Zerbe composed his Patriotic March complete with both orchestral and piano parts and had it published locally. Local historians believe that this march possibly got featured as a processional for one of the earliest gala parties staged by Tyrone’s Benedict organization.
From the gothic bell tower of Tyrone Presbyterian Church, the Carillon will ring out patriotic melodies across the town on this 228th Independence Day as it has since its installation in 1947. Just two years after the close of World War II in 1947, Lillian Garman’s Speer Bible class raised $3,200, so that Tyrone Presbyterian Church could install its first Schulmerich Carillon of 25 tower bells built in Sellersville, PA.
In those long ago days, church secretary Faye Dickson Gates played a daily noon-time bell recital from a miniature keyboard adjacent to the organ console until her death in 1964. In 1990, the Presbyterian Church raised $14,000 to install a second Schulmerich Carillon played by church members Margaret Baldridge, Frances Jones, Mardell Fink, Adelaide Langenbacher, and Betty Woomer. Because this second Schulmerich Carillon contains a digital clock cabinet located in the communion room, the church organist can program the bells to play on their own at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day.
Twice each day, Presbyterians urge people all across Tyrone to listen to their Carillonic Tower Bells and to make it their Christian Mission to remember those folks standing in the need of prayer. In addition to its Christian Mission to inspire people to prayer, on Independence Day 2004, Tyrone Presbyterians also will allow their second Schulmerich Carillon to perform the task described in the old hymn – Let music swell the breeze/and ring through all the trees/ sweet freedom’s song/let mortal tongues awake/ let all that breathe partake/let rocks their silence break/the sound prolong.