To my friends near and far:

Overnight in the early hours of Tuesday, March 23, the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church in Cleveland, where I have been the director of music for the past 26 years, caught fire and was totally destroyed. I only have sketchy details at this time. This includes the magnificent Karl Wilhelm organ that I have been privileged to play.

Most of my personal organ music was stored there and was also destroyed. For me that is more devastating, and not because of financial loss, but it included music that goes back to my beginnings as an organist and music that contained markings from my beloved organ teachers who have taught me so much.

I am too overwhelmed to say more at this time, but please keep our congregation in your thoughts and prayers. The congregation was founded in 1843 and has suffered through adversity in the past. As a Christian I believe that God (or Allah, or Yahweh, or whatever word for the Almighty you want to use) will provide for the future.


6 thoughts on “Grief

  1. Dear Friend,
    This is indeed a tragedy! Know that you and all of the EACC family are in my prayers. You are right – God will provide. Right now, in prayer, comfort, and just the simple act of breathing. Take it one breath at a time, one moment at a time, one tear at a time and know that you are being lifted up to heaven to wrap you in the sustaining love of our creator.


  2. Hi Tim,

    I was about to head out the door for a meeting with someone this morning when Karen checked email and had a note from a Lutheran friend breaking the news to us. Since then I’ve come to my office and have many notes and phone calls from others as well . It certainly feels strange – almost like the death of a person since we spent so many years in that beautiful building.

    I’m so sorry for your personal loss — like that magnificent organ and the stained glass windows, such things can’t be replaced. I assume Terry and perhaps others lost valuable personal things as well. Do know that all of you are in our thoughts and prayers! — Randy

  3. I am sorry to hear of this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time for both you and the congregation.

  4. Dear Tim,

    My whole family sends their condolences on the devastating loss of the beloved Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. Although I never had the opportunity to visit the church, it has had a special significance to my family. My great grandfather, the Reverend Caspar W. Hiatt, was pastor there in the early 1900’s. My father, CW Hiatt III, now 90 years old, was only 6 years old when his grandfather died, but remembers his grandfather’s passion for oratory. I was looking forward to visiting the beautiful church and learning more about my great grandfather through the church archives. If you have any interior photos that you are willing to share, I would love to see them.

    I am very sorry for your personal loss associated with the fire. I wish you and your fellow church members faith and patience as you face the future embodiment of the church.

    Eve Hiatt, Louisville, KY

  5. As concert manager for organist Hector Olivera, after learning about the tragic fire at Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, I felt compelled to write and let you know that we are sensitive to your loss and grief. We will be praying for you diligently and are sure that our Lord is in total control and you will all come through this with blessings to many to count. Keep on brining beautiful and magnificent music to others, Tim. You certainly have a ministry asa magnificent organist and give to countless persons, a true glimpse of HEAVEN! Hang in there. Amen.

    Thomas White – Canton, OH – Concert Manager – Hector Olivera – 3/27/10

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