On Easter Sunday, April 19, 1992, as part of its 250th Anniversary, St. John’s Lutheran Church dedicated the Haymaker-Vogelgesang Carillon, consisting of nineteen bells. The bells were cast in Ammecy-Ie-Vieux, France, by the Paccard-Fonderie de Cloches. The largest bell, a swinging bell, weighs about 1500 pounds and is rung as a “call to worship” bell. It forms the bass note of the carillon which covers the range from G3 to G5. The smallest bell weighs 71 pounds.
Each bell bears the inscription of its donor and a biblical inscription, selected from the “I am … ” statements in scripture. The bells were installed by Paccard representatives at the Van Bergen Bellfoundries, Inc., of Charleston.
The carillon strikes the hours and automatically plays hymn melodies on a regular schedule. Additional hymns and melodies for special occasions such as weddings or special community events can be played from the organ console.
The carillon was made possible by the endowed bell fund given by the late Dr. Richard E. Haymaker in memory of his mother, Emma Vogelgesang Haymaker, and by gifts of St. John’s members and friends.
St. John’s original bell was installed in 1859 but was removed two years later and given to the Confederacy to be melted down for gun metal.
St. John’s swinging bell weighs 1500 lbs. and is the largest of the 19 bell carillon.