With nearly 20,000 people attending services across four campuses each weekend, Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX, is one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the United States. It is also one of America’s most innovative worship facilities with a new and unconventional approach to reaching its congregation that has earned it the epithet "One Dynamic Church."
Fellowship is well known for its integration of technology, and lighting plays a major role in all the church does. In past years the church had been renting what amounted to a small touring package to add that something extra to its weekly services, but church officials decided to bring that in-house in order to unify the visual look as well as reduce rental expenses.
Fellowship decided on a dynamic Martin lighting package made up of 18 MAC 500 profile spots, 18 MAC 600 washlights, four MAC 2000 Profiles, six MAC 2000 Washes, six MAC 300 washlights, and six RoboScan Pro 918 scanners along with other automateds–a lighting rig you might expect to see on a top touring act.
According to lighting designer C. Andrew Dunning of Landru Design, Fellowship’s Martin gear is not used exclusively for stage lighting. At Fellowship Church worship is intended to be something that those in the congregation experience. Therefore, the lighting is designed to include them, Dunning explains. “We talk a lot about the environment being immersive. We don’t want the congregation sitting in their seat feeling like they’re observing a performance,” he says. “There is color and texture all the way around. You are submerged in it, you are part of it. It’s very intentional.”
Twenty-five percent of the Martin lighting is located in somewhat static locations with the rest in what Dunning calls the touring rig. Fellowship features very different rigs year round. “The gear is not just for special events but is used in normal Sunday services–each being 6-8 camera HD shoots broadcast worldwide– for singing, preaching, and as a decorative element. We texture walls, texture scenery, and use lots of color, beams and gobos, etc,” says Dunning.
During Fellowship’s Christmas and Easter services–among the area's most popular with over 20 separate services held over a three- to four-day period–lighting is often ‘beefed up.’ This past Easter, for example, 12 MAC 700 Profiles were added to the rig.
Martin lighting is also used in other areas of the facility. Some 10 Martin MiniMAC moving heads are used in Fellowship’s main Youth Room with two MiniMAC’s and two MAC 250 profile spots used to create energy in the children’s facilities.
Fellowship’s lighting director, Daniel Page, comments, “Moving lights give Fellowship the flexibility to change the dynamics of the room and create visual imagery that serves to enhance the worship experience. The Martin product gives us this flexibility to create these experiences.”
Fellowship Church Design Team
Lighting Designer: C. Andrew Dunning
Lighting Director: Daniel Page
Production Manager: Mike Walker