About the Designer & Builder

     Allen Harrah is a native of Charleston West Virginia. He is a graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School and the University of Alaska. He is a past President of Rodgers Organ Company. He has spent most of his adult life in the music business, serving in a number of different capacities ranging from sales to company ownership and has served on a number of different boards of directors. He also spent two years in the United States Army where he was a commissioned Lieutenant.

     At the age of 13 he became fascinated with organs. An old church organ was being discarded, so he asked if he could have it and the journey began. His love for organs has ranged from tinkering, to directing operations, to building. Mr. Harrah built the first commercially successful combination organ in 1972. In the late 70's he founded the Harrah/Van Zoeren Pipe Organ Company.

Allen Harrah
Allen Harrah
     After becoming president of Rodgers Organ Company, he convinced CBS to purchase the Harrah/Van Zoeren company and incorporate it into the Rodgers Company. Later he negotiated with the 2nd Baptist Church of Houston to build a mammoth pipe organ for their new sanctuary. At that time it was one of the largest pipe organs to be built in one stage.

     In his early work with combination organs he used Ruffatti pipes and chests and modified Rodgers electronics. These two installations are still in active use. One is the Emily Spivey Residence organ and the other is located in the Doraville Presbyterian Church, Doraville, Georgia. He left the organ business briefly to work with Emily Spivey in establishing the Walter and Emily Spivey Foundation, which was responsible for the building of Spivey Hall on the campus of Clayton State College, Morrow, Georgia. Spivey Hall is now an internationally recognized performing arts center. He has also served as consultant on a number of major organ installations in the United States, Europe and Asia.

     Mr. Harrah's significant contribution of his artistic ability, his time and financial resources to the Glory of God at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church are deeply appreciated.