Thirty years ago John Dower started a small company in the heart of the North Carolina Piedmont, dedicated to the idea that every church musician's efforts should be assisted by a beautiful and reliable instrument and focused on providing superior service and value.  Today this firm has grown to cover a five state region and become Lincoln Pipe Organs, Inc.  Each person on our staff is highly skilled in what he or she does, and is dedicated to making your music ministry as successful as possible.

John Dower's lifelong interest in church music and the pipe organ comes quite naturally; his mother's father was a very fine organist and his early musical experience included studying piano with Stephen Chalfa and serving as a boy soprano at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. He began studying organ as a college freshman and has been an active parish musician for most of his adult life. His career as an organ builder began with an independent study course in Western Europe while he was an undergraduate. He apprenticed with Fritz Noack, and did his journeyman work in maintenance with Richard Nickerson. He served Visser-Rowland Associates as pipemaker before moving to Lincolnton and establishing John Dower and Company.

John Dower holds a BA in music from Eckerd College and the Fellow's Certificate from the American Institute of Organbuilders.


From an early age, Stephen Spake's interest in pipe organs, expressed by crawling around in them to see how they worked, was a notable part of his development. He started "a summer job" with John Dower and Co. at the age of 15. He continued working at the shop through high school and his matriculation at Gaston College, where he earned an associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technologies.  He then became a full time tuning and maintenance technician, developing his skills as an organ builder by rebuilding and redesigning instruments of all types and makes. Stephen has been with John Dower and Company for 20 years, and continues his career of building and maintaining these wonderful instruments.

Daniel Compton feels fortunate to do something that many only dream of: working in his dream profession.  Dan has always loved music, and he earned a BA in Music Education (Voice and Piano), but teaching wasn’t his dream job.  He wanted to use his wood-crafting skill and experience, and looked for a chance to combine music and craftsmanship.

He got the chance when he answered a "Help Wanted" ad from a pipe organ company. His prospective employer explained that the company would take Dan on as an apprentice for as long as a year, and might even hire him permanently, provided he proved himself. At the end of his first week of training, Dan was offered a full time position as an organ technician, and he has never looked back. Since then, Dan has worked for himself, for Columbia (PA) Organ Works, and for almost 15 years with the team that now makes up Lincoln Pipe Organs.

Dan keeps up his musical skills by singing with his church choir, in professional choirs, and with the Carolina Men’s Choir, a featured presenter and demonstration choir at the 2013 ACDA regional meeting in North Carolina.

Dan’s pipe organ skills include pipe-making, casework and other woodworking, voicing, and tuning and maintenance. He takes pride in his ability to fix mechanical problems on site, and his problem-solving skills as a maintenance technician have saved many days. Our clients know that Dan will provide great service, and with a smile!

Scott Clippard  

Joe W.