Corpus Christi Bell
Tower Foundation Board

Joe McComb

Joe G. Frazer
Vice President

Melinda Lyles

Dr. Richard Ingraham
Karen Beard
Cynthia Smith
Darla Henderson
Mary K. Oliveira Fant
Celeste McCraw

CCBT Foundation Advisors

Johnny Glover
Loyd Lott

Brief History

Our bell tower and carillon were given to First Baptist Church by Mrs. Lucille Glasscock in 1976. The carillon was played after worship services, before and after weddings, and at summer concerts. Guest carillonneurs would come from around the world and provide concerts. The instrument also had automated functions that were set to Westminster chimes on the quarter hour and a hymn on the hour. The church was able to enjoy the carillon for a number of years, but by the mid 1980's it became more difficult to maintain. Although part of the initial funding for the bell tower included a designated gift for continued maintenance, after two different efforts to clean, preserve and maintain the tower, by the 1990's it became clear that our environment was not friendly to the structure. The remaining funds of approximately $45,000.00 in the designated gift account have not been adequate to cover the full costs of maintenance. The structure was built without factoring the heat, humidity, and salt air of the Coastal Bend and its location on the bayfront. On June 10, 2002, a bell fell from the tower and several bells were at risk of falling. Due to safety considerations, the bells were removed. After some of the bells were stolen and subsequently recovered, the damages to the bells were repaired, and now they are kept in a safe, secure location.

Current Condition

Demolition of the current bell tower was completed on November 3, 2015. The 51 bells and the carillon itself are safely stored until the time comes to install them into the new tower. David Richter has presented the artist's drawing of the new bell tower shown on the cover. When we have reached our fundraising goal, he will move forward with final architectural designs.

The Decision

Since 1976, the bell tower has been a landmark on Ocean Drive in front of the church and has a significant history. The bell tower was removed as part of a process with a fundraising campaign to rebuild the structure. Also, no construction will occur without raising the funds necessary for the project. More of the history of the tower and carillon is available on Facebook at Corpus Christi Bell Tower Foundation.

Click on the video to watch Loyd Lott playing a Carrilon!
About the Instrument

The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) defines a carillon as "a musical instrument consisting of at least two octaves of carillon bells played from a keyboard. A carillon bell is a cast bronze cup-shaped bell."

The carillonneur or carillonist is the title of the musician who plays the carillon. The carillonneur/carillonist usually sits in a cabin beneath the bells and presses down, with a loosely closed fist, on a series of baton-like keys arranged in the same pattern as a piano keyboard. The keys activate levers and wires that connect directly to the bells' clappers. In addition to the manual keys, the heavier bells are also played with a pedal keyboard. These notes can either be played with the hands or the feet.

"Let all who hear the bells peal forth their joyful sounds experience an uplifting of the spirit and a rededication of the heart which will enable them to experience life with hope, faith and gladness."

"When you have a dream, never let it go because dreams so often come true."

"Listen to the Bells"

-Lucille Glasscock

"The church and the Lord's work has always been her first love. Even though the Glasscock Memorial Tower commemorates her husband, more than anything else it signalizes her faith in God. With every chiming of the hour, the bells are saying, "Lucille loves Jesus." Long after she has gone to be with Jesus and her beloved husband, the bells will continue to tell the world about her devotion to her Savior ."

- Dr. Vernon Elmore