1. Maranatha Church in Forest Lake, Minnesota
No one can ever accuse this church of being shy or timid in its worship style. Pastor Bob Headley will be the first to acknowledge that the sound inside the 1,000-plus-seat sanctuary can get both enthusiastic and loud.
Until recently, the church’s existing sound system could not keep up anymore — it was taking more and more volume to fill the church, while reverberation off of the walls and floor was diminishing speech intelligibility.
It was clearly time for a refresh, and Pastor Headley and a six-person committee evaluated the possibilities for a new sound system. One was clearly the right choice: a RoomMatch system from Bose Professional, www.bose.com.
“We liked the RoomMatch system as soon as we heard it,” says Headley. “In fact, we actually liked it even more once we heard the philosophy behind it — the idea that the speakers are made to cover exactly what’s necessary in the room, keeping the sound on the audience and off of the walls.”
2. Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio
For churches around the globe, video has become an integral aspect of connecting with their congregants, providing a powerful medium to share their message while enabling them to expand beyond their walls.
Grace Church offers more than 2,000 weekly attendees a choice of worship styles, with two venues in the same building. The contemporary venue serves the church’s fastest-growing segment and hosts a live speaker in a transformed gymnasium. Two HITACHI Z-HD5000 (www.hitachikokusai.com) cameras support live image magnification on large screens within this setting. The dynamic nature of the church’s contemporary venue makes the simple setup and robust durability of the cameras important.
“Since the venue is used as a gym, we need to set the equipment up and then take it all down again each Sunday,” says Drew Boatner, video producer. “The Z-HD5000s are small and portable enough that they’re easy for our volunteers to quickly set up and tear down, and they have been incredibly reliable in withstanding our weekly transformations.”
3. First Assembly Community Ministries in Lafayette, Indiana
This church is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year with a new audio system including an Allen & Heath dLive S Class Mixing System, www.allen-heath.com. The dLive, which consists of an S5000 Surface and DM64 MixRack, serves as a front-of-house mixer, broadcast mixer and monitor mixer, making it a 3-in-1 solution for First Assembly.
Luke Flowers, technical director, says the church’s previous digital mixer had high latency, poor-sounding effects and maintenance issues so the right mixer was an important choice for the new audio system.
First Assembly’s new audio system, with its dLive S Class, complements the church’s contemporary worship style and its focus on “Sunday excellence,” meeting the church’s goals for sound quality and coverage and bringing the same great experience to everyone in the 1,100-seat sanctuary.
4. Manley Baptist Church in Morristown, Tennessee
It’s not uncommon these days for traditional Baptist churches to gradually incorporate contemporary elements, until eventually the day comes when their services are no longer “traditional.” That’s not the path that this church took! Instead, Manley Baptist moved from its traditional sanctuary to a brand new 2,000-seat fan-shaped sanctuary and immediately switched over to a more contemporary service format.
With that switch came big expectations for modern sound reinforcement – but only a modest budget with which to realize them. They met (and even exceeded!) those expectations within the budget by designing and installing a sound reinforcement system around Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers, www.danleysoundlabs.com.
“The sound at Manley Baptist is fantastic and put them right where they wanted to be,” says Jon Giles, national sales manager for All Pro Sound. “Manley’s contemporary services have all of the impact you would expect from a high-quality concert – exactly what they were hoping for – and we managed it for a fraction of the cost of a line array.”
5. Mount Pleasant Community Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan
This church has upgraded their outdated lighting system with a dynamic LED solution that features new Elation Professional Colour Pendant color-changing LED luminaires, www.elationlighting.com.
The city of Mount Pleasant is home to Central Michigan University, one of the state’s largest universities, which means that much of their congregation is in the 19-25 year old range.
“As a result, they are always exceptionally diligent in looking for ways to make the worship experience more inclusive and inviting,” said Mike Mrozinski, project development manager at LiveSpace. “They have a very contemporary worship experience each weekend, so we stressed the ability to create a more immersive and engaging environment.”
6. Substance Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota
This is a dynamic multi-site church that believes in doing things a bit differently by pushing the limits of the congregation’s expectations to build a stronger community. In holding true to their foundation, they recently underwent a LED video installation with one of the largest LED video walls in any house of worship known today.
Led by Adam Frey, Technical Director for Substance, the church wanted to complete their full production design with a high-resolution and virtually flicker-free LED video solution, so they chose FLEXTour LED video from PixelFLEX, www.pixelflexled.com.
“The first time we used the new LED video wall was on our Christmas service, and everyone was amazed at how much it transformed our worship environment,” says Frey. “It added a completely new layer to the service making it much more visually engaging through the use of the most current LED video technology.”
7. Old Fort Church in Old Fort, Ohio
Describing itself as “a real-life community on the move,” this church’s worship center features modern video and lighting systems and a high-performance audio system with Community I SERIES loudspeakers, www.communitypro.com.
Old Fort Church holds two worship services each Sunday. The first is a “blended experience” with a mix of traditional and contemporary worship styles. The second is a “modern experience” featuring videos and contemporary Christian music led by a praise band.
According to Worship Arts Leader Mike Sooy, music plays a very important part in both services, and great sound was therefore a priority for the new facility. Sooy also emphasized the importance of speech clarity.
8. Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park, Illinois
There are many reasons why this church has attracted so many new members. High on that list is its commitment to connect to worshippers with services that are relevant to modern sensibilities.
This commitment was very evident in Parkview Christian’s well-attended Christmas service last year. The service touched hearts and souls with its warm, uplifting message, a communal candlelight observance, and contemporary praise music.
Adding to the atmosphere was full production lighting support by JR Lighting Design, Inc., who provided a large lighting rig consisting of 70+ fixtures that prominently featured 24 Rogue R2 Wash RGBW fixtures and 4 Vesuvio RGBA LED foggers from CHAUVET Professional, www.chauvetprofessional.com.