Quality pipe organs have only a few parts that wear out after many years. When those parts are replaced by an experienced restorer, and the organ is adjusted and tuned, it looks and sounds great again. And since a quality pipe organ can reasonably be expected to last 60-80 years without major rebuilding, the cost over time is less than even a small electronic organ.
Dozens of antique organs of all sizes are for sale at any time at astonishingly low prices. Click here to see some for sale through the Organ Clearing House, an organization that links buyers and sellers of old organs. Most are in need of restoration, although a few only require moving and installation. There are other sources for organs, too.
I can guide you through the process of obtaining an appropriate antique instrument, and restore and install it in your church. In some situations, some restoration work can be done by church members. The result is an inspiring tool for worship as well as a unique community-building project.
Here are recordings of two organs I have restored. The first is owned by Pacific Lutheran University.
An anonymous Morisca from the 16th century, played by me
Festival March by Arthur Foote, played by Dr. Kevin Birch
Of course, hearing the organs in person is a completely different experience than listening to a recording. I would be happy to take you to visit these instruments in the Puget Sound area, or answer any questions.