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Church Amplifies New Sanctuary Building

The Immanuel Lutheran Church in Washington, Missouri, is located approximately 50 miles west of downtown St. Louis. The church serves the Washington area with various programs, activities, volunteer opportunities and worship services for the community. Established on April 21, 1862, Immanuel Lutheran Church has evolved into a network of pre- and elementary schools, and recently built a new sanctuary building; however, the church had not updated its building technologies since 1997, making the systems inadequate to its members.

Sound quality ranks as one of the top priorities of Immanuel Lutheran Church and its members. Due to the number of worshippers, Immanuel Lutheran Church realized it needed a new sanctuary building and audio system to accommodate its staff and members.

Taking Acoustics to the Next Level
Immanuel Lutheran Church turned to longtime partner and systems integrator, Tech Electronics, to implement the new installation plan for the 12,000-square-foot venue’s unique architectural and acoustic properties, with improved sound quality, clarity and efficiency of the system as the church’s primary goals.

The new capacity level of the sanctuary building and balcony allows for an increase in the number of members the space can seat. The new sanctuary has seating for 550 members, while the former sanctuary only seated 220. As part of the construction, Tech Electronics proposed a main sound reinforcement system, a secondary sound reinforcement system for the choir, a monitor sound system for musicians, and a video projection system with two large rear projection screens. 

Additionally, Tech proposed a camera system to enable the organist to view the service while facing the rear of the building, as well as a TV distribution system that feeds video signals to other areas of the sanctuary, specifically the narthex, cry room and lower level nursery. 

During the construction process, space limitations were uncovered, and Tech Electronics was responsible for recommending solutions that would fit the specifications provided by the church’s design consultant, DSH Audio Visions LLC.

Based on the building’s specifications, Tech Electronics provided a Roland digital mixing console, Roland digital snake wiring system, Electro-Voice speaker systems and amplifiers, Symetrix digital processing equipment and wireless microphone systems by EV/Telex – all leading manufacturers of top-of-the-line communications equipment.

Since the building had drywall ceilings attached directly to the main structural roof beams, all speaker suspension cables had to be precisely positioned prior to drywall installation. Tech Electronics carefully engineered the speaker suspension system and provided drawings that were accurate to within ¼” to the project’s electrical contractor, Schaeffer Electric. Precise CAD drawings were required to show exactly where the drywall penetrations for the support cables needed to be placed, since those supports had to be installed before the drywall was mounted. These drawings had to factor in the tilt angles of the speaker systems so that the cables allowed exact aiming.

It was also discovered that some of the choir speakers would not fit into the spaces provided.  Working carefully with the general contractor, Lawlor Construction, an alternative mounting system was developed that allowed everything to fit properly. 

Two large rear projection video screens completed the sanctuary technology upgrade.  The rear projection feature enabled the church to conceal the two large projectors, allowing attendees to focus their attention properly. 

“The new systems provided the church with a tastefully done upgrade to their technology,” said Steve Knese, system sales manager for Tech Electronics.

An Upgraded System Helps Church’s Future Growth Plans
The investment for new sound reinforcement and video projection systems allowed Immanuel Lutheran Church to enhance their ministry by utilizing new technology to ensure its congregation is able to hear and see the messages clearly. Immanuel Lutheran Church was impressed with the level of expertise and professionalism of Tech Electronics.

“We now have superior sound and capabilities to communicate with different parts of the building to provide an enhanced worship atmosphere for our members than ever before,” said Terry Witthaus, project coordinator of construction for Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Tech Electronics is a solutions-based systems integrator and technology services organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, www.techelectronics.com.

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