The Bible-based, evangelical Gateway Church opened its new, main Southlake campus last fall from which it oversees the North Richland Hills (NRH) campus in the center of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and an extension campus in Frisco, Texas which opened last July. The church has a congregation of more than 20,000 people; the senior pastor's messages from the Southlake campus are fed live to the other campuses via fiber during Sunday worship services.
Southlake boasts a full-size grandMA2 with a grandma 2 lite as a backup while NRH is outfitted with a grandMA2 lite, Frisco will soon follow suit with a grandMA Lite, all purchased from Barbizon Lighting. "I used to be a touring guy whose console of choice was the original grandMA," says director of lighting/stage design Kyle Russelburg. "When I joined the church in 2008, part of overhauling the current lighting system was upgrading their current lighting console to the grandMA. The staff fell in love with them right away. They were easy to train on and fast to program. They just worked great. The transition from the grandMA to the grandMA2 was simple, too: The syntax really remained close to the grandma series 1. This really made it easier to go ahead an upgrade to the series 2 console"
Southlake's 4,000-seat auditorium runs 48 moving lights, 92 LED fixtures, 389 dimmers, 18 LED video panels and two media servers, all controlled from the grandMA. The other two campuses feature 12 moving lights and 50 LED PARs and will be installing a media server.
"The grandMAs are rock solid," Russelburg reports. "We run them over Art-Net and streaming ACN and have never had a problem. We have a lot of volunteers, and they have been able to run cues and program stuff in a very short amount of time."
Gateway Church annually hosts a conference that brings churches from around the world to the campuses to examine their media installations. "A lot of churches always tell me they could never afford a grandMA, but after a few minutes of explaining the different products and console sizes and what it does for us, they revise their thinking," says Russelburg. "It's really an easy sale once you dive into the console and show all it can do."
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