Since 1977, the Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR, has been an important hub in the community. Boasting different venues on a campus that sprawls several blocks, the church provides a lively and nuanced worship experience unique to its congregants, but as its membership grew over the years, the church's facility quickly became antiquated. The answer was change — and fast.

Salvation soon came in the guise of a school that wanted to purchase the property. Viewing this as an opportunity for the church to build a new facility that would retain its vision but also be reflective of modern times, the administrators seized upon the offer with zest. A new facility would also unify the alternate venues that were geographically spread out, housing them in one building on the church's campus.

To help formulate and implement the creation of the new facility located on 50 acres, the church hired Ken Dean, who acted as a consultant on the project. In late 2005, Dean brought on consulting firm Acoustic Dimensions, whose résumé includes a long history of working on houses of worship. The mission regarding the Fellowship Bible Church was to rejuvenate acoustics, video, audio, and lighting. The Wilcox Group, a local architectural firm, was enlisted, while PRG, American Audio, and Mission Services were the three main vendors selected for lighting, audio, and video, respectively.

Early on, the goal for the installation in the new facility was clear. “We had really outgrown [the old facility],” admits Jud Archer, the church's production technology director, whose role on the project was that of a consultant. “It was time for us to go from the 4'×3' video screens and into the 16'×9' ones, move toward the high definitions, and take that into our venue. It was time to upgrade our sound and graphics systems. Also, our lighting was pretty minimal, not to say that we didn't have a nice facility, but it was becoming dated.”

Construction for the church's new campus, comprised of approximately 200,000sq-ft. with three distinctly different worship centers, a children's and youth building, recreation space, and offices, commenced in May 2006. According to Archer, the main challenges of the project were cutting costs within an already oversized budget (final costs for the equipment came to approximately $3 million) and reducing the time element of the construction from the originally projected three years to two. “Part of the agreement of selling [our original] space was that we had to vacate in two years,” explains Archer. “Everybody we went to said, ‘You need three years to build the facility from scratch to get everything in.’ But we got it done.” While construction was going on, services at the church were still being held at the old campus.

The new gear installations were earmarked mostly for three venues: the 1,450-seat main auditorium or “worship center”; the “warehouse” (or “edge” venue), which seats 700; and the 400-seat chapel (or “encounter”). As with the previous facility, each venue was imbued with a markedly different purpose for congregants. Therefore, it was imperative that each space have equipment that would meet its objectives.

The worship center, which has a “U” configuration, offers a service described by Acoustic Dimensions' Casey Sherred, the project's audio designer, as “contemporary but not quite rock ‘n’ roll.” It will also be used for drama and “special teaching events,” adds Archer. To accommodate the audio needs of this venue, EAW KF730 line arrays, EAW AX side fill cabinets, and delay speakers were duly installed. A Digidesign D-Show console was added fairly late in the game; however, some existing equipment was retained.

“For the most part, in each venue, the church provided all of the front-of-house gear, so they had existing consoles, existing playbacks, all of that stuff, and they brought it over,” says Sherred. The overall decision was to purchase new speaker systems for each venue. For the warehouse, which Sherred sums up as “a fairly intimate room that has a very high-powered, very high rock ‘n’ roll, club feel,” similar equipment to that of the worship center — EAW SB730 line arrays, LA-400 subwoofers, and EAW side fill cabinets — was installed. The chapel, which has a “very traditional jazz combo kind of feel,” is outfitted with EAW MQV cabinets for mains and EAW MKs for short throws and delay speakers.

Cost-effectiveness and quality figured heavily in choosing the gear. “For the line arrays, it's the best thing for the buck,” admits Sherred. “It was a pretty tight budget. We were able to get these systems that produced high quality sound levels for reasonable costs. The other thing that we really liked about these systems is the frequency response of these cabinets. It's very smooth, and therefore, you can arrange and put multiple arrays up, and the transitions work a lot better between adjacent arrays.”

The lighting equipment selected for all of the venues was mostly from ETC. In addition to dimmers and conventional fixtures, the consoles were “all the different levels of the Jands Vista range,” says Acoustic Dimensions' David Stephens, who worked as the project manager/lighting designer. “In the worship center and the warehouse, they were Vista T2 consoles, and then, in the remainder of the facility, they were various levels of the Vista PC.” Also, because the worship center had a conventional theatrical cyc, the project team added in Altman Lighting Sky Cycs. A complement of moving and color changing fixtures from Elektralite was also incorporated into the venue.

According to Stephens, the main challenge with the lighting installation was “trying to get the lighting positions coordinated with the HVD speaker systems — all of the stuff that's up in the ceiling area.” The video is a compilation of new equipment and the remaining inventory, which included Magic Touch and Final Cut Pro systems. The team outfitted a video production suite with a Grass Valley Kayak switcher and a standard system that's not high definition. “That broadcast suite has fiber interconnect between all of the venues, and they can direct signals in and out of that video production broadcast facility,” notes Ben Cating of Acoustic Dimensions, the project's video designer.

The main worship center is the only venue on campus that has DLP for I-Mag projection (all of the other venues have LCD for I-Mag). “That was a budget crunch item,” clarifies Cating. Also in the worship center is a center experiential screen, while the warehouse has Christie Digital LCD projection with a center large DLP HD projector for projecting the pastor from the alternate venue. “They do what we would call a virtual pastor,” explains Cating. “They're recording it on a hard disc and playing it back out. It plays back on a center screen in the warehouse powered by a 16,000-lumen Christie Digital DLP Projector.”

“The center screen is 30' wide by 14' high,” notes Stephens. “If and when the pastor preaches in one of the other venues, those spaces have the ability to actually virtualize in the worship center if they need to. That's one of the reasons for that center screen.” Three LCD projectors are also being used in the chapel. “That was a step down, but it was done for cost-effectiveness,” adds Cating. In the warehouse and chapel, the team installed TB1s to handle the video switching. They were chosen because of their ability to withstand “a large bandwidth of resolutions.”

The rigging equipment isn't complex, according to Stephens. The vendor was Pook Diemont & Ohl, Inc., subcontracted by PRG. Unlike the other equipment, it's still a work in progress. “Most of the rigging has been hung travelers, teasers, legs, and borders,” details Stephens. “The center screen in the worship center has gone through several iterations at this point. Now they're putting in a motorized hoist of some sort — not sure whether that's going to be a Vortek, a line shaft, or something like that, but they will actually fly the screen in and out. They do have just enough height above the platform and behind the proscenium that we think we can get away with doing that.”

Despite the initial apprehension voiced by congregants about the church's relocation, their reaction to the new facility has been jubilant. “Since the opening, there has been so much excitement in the air,” gushes Archer. “Everybody loves it. As with any church, when we announced we were going to move, there was a lot of grumbling, but now, everyone just loves what we have.”

FELLOWSHIP CHURCH

GEAR LIST

LIGHTING

5 ETC SR48 Dimmer Rack

2 ETC DR12 Dimmer Rack

2 Jands Vista T2 Console

1 Jands Vista PC Console with S3 Wing Panel

4 Jands Wireless RFU

111 ETC Source Four PAR

62 ETC Source Four 19° Ellipsoidal

100 ETC Source Four 26° Ellipsoidal

4 ETC Source Four 36° Ellipsoidal

20 ETC Source Four 50° Ellipsoidal

8 Altman Lighting 8' Fresnel

4 Altman Lighting 4 Cell Sky Cyc

4 Altman Lighting Ground Cyc

3 Altman Lighting 30-Cell Zip Strip

18 Elektralite PaintCan

19 Elektralite my575.3

11 Elektralite my575W

6 Elektralite Elektrik Eye

AUDIO

3 Adam Audio Powered Reference Monitors and Sub 8 Powered Subwoofer Monitor

9 ADC RJ45 Data Patchbay and Smartups-Series Rackmount UPS

10 Beyer DT-108 Headsets

12 Bittree TT Patchbay Panels and Patch Cords

56 Clear-Com Stations, Beltpacks, Handsets, Headsets

1 Crown CTS3000 Type 11 Amp

7 Crown IQ-PIP-USP3 DSP w/HIQNet

1 Denon DNC640 Single Space CD Player

1 Digidesign D-Show Console (plus side car add-on)

1 Digidesign FOH Iox Extra I/O Card, FOH Rack, and Stage Rack

4 EAW Side Fill Short Throw and Long Throw Speakers

82 EAW CIS400 and SMS4 Ceiling Speakers

30 EAW JF80 Main or Delay Loudspeaker

14 EAW KF730-AD Line Array Speakers

2 EAW LA-400 Subwoofer

12 EAW LF315 3 × 15" Horn Loaded Subwoofer

19 EAW MK2394 2-Way Loudspeaker

6 EAW MQV1394e Main Long Throw Loudspeaker

7 EAW SB730 Subwoofer Array Speaker

22 EAW UB52-SR and UB82e Front Fill Speakers

2 EAW UX8800 Grey Box DSP Processor

1 Emperical Labs EL7 FATSO Stereo Audio Processor

1 Eventide Anthology Digidesign Plug-in Processor

24 HP Procurve Ethernet Switches and Fiber Transceivers for Switches

14 JBL Control 321 C Atrium Ceiling Loudspeaker

48 Lab Gruppen Amps and Remote Amplifier Monitors

4 L-Acoustics SB218 (black) Dual 18" Subwoofer

44 Listen Receivers, Ear Speaker, and Assistive Listening Transmitters

38 Media Matrix Digital Signal Processors, DSP Input and Output Cards

1 Midas Venice 320 32ch Mixing Console

15 Polar Focus Custom Speaker Rigging & Rotation

3 QSC HPR122i-I 12" 2 Way Powered Loudspeaker

1 Lowell 200-LVC-RM 200W 70V Volume Control

20 Surgex Power/Light Strips and Surge Protectors

3 Tascam CD Player and CDRW Player Recorder

12 Whirlwind SPC83-JT 8ch Transformer Mic System

8 JuiceGoose PD1/PD3 Multi-circuit 120V Raceways

VIDEO

2 Christie Digital DS+8K DLP 8,500-Lumen SXGA+ Projector

4 Christie Digital LX120, 12,000-Lumen XGA Projector

13 Christie Digital LX500 LCD 5,000 Lumens XGA Projector

1 Christie Digital Roadster S+16K 16,000 ANSI Lumen Projector

14 Clear-Com Stations and Beltpacks

1 Compix SD-SDI Character Generation

12 Evertz Fiber Optic Receivers and Transmitters

31 Extron Ethernet Control Interfaces and Twisted Pair Receivers

1 Grass Valley SD 250C 2.5ME Switcher w/ 4RU Frame

1 Grass Valley HD Upgrade Switcher

1 Grass Valley Concerto Matrix Control Board

2 Grass Valley Concerto High Definition Video 32×32

1 Grass Valley Prelude Control Panel, Universal XY

2 Grass Valley Triax HD-Adapter, TriLock/XLR

2 Grass Valley 5" HDTV Viewfinder

2 Grass Valley OCP 400 Control Panel with Joystick

1 Grass Valley 16-port Ethernet Switch

17 Jensen Audio, Video, and RF Isolation Transformer

3 Jupiter JUP-CP300 Aux Control Panel 1 JVC TM-H150CGU Video Monitor w/ RKMH15 Rack Kit

2 Keywest BVTBC10 With SDI I/O, Digital Processing Synchronizer TBC.

Leitch Converters, Distribution Amps, and SDI Monitoring

5 Middle Atlantic MW-4FT Top with Fans

5 Middle Atlantic PD-2415SC

3 Middle Atlantic Slim 2-10 Rack

1 Middle Atlantic SPN-44312 Side Panels

5 Middle Atlantic VRK-44-31H Equipment Rack

1 Miranda Kaleido-K2 Multiview Display

4 Miranda Four Channel Input Modules

1 Miranda MWS-Embedded SDI Input Embedded Audio Extraction

3 Miranda SDM-171p SDI-to-Component Converter

11 MSS Custom Projector Stands

1 Panasonic AJ-SD93 Video Recorder

2 Panasonic Analog I/O Card and SDI I/O Card

2 Goo Systems Screen Goo

9 Stewart Aeroview 100 Rear Projection Screens

1 Stewart Electric Ultimatte 130, Front Projection Screen

3 Surgex SX1115 RL Protection Power Strip

7 Sycamore Glass 38"W × 32"H × 3/8" Projection Glass

2 Tannoy Reveal 8D Active Powered Speakers

4 TBC LCD Monitor Arm

6 TV One Graphics Processor and Console

7 TV One IT-V128H Upconverter

1 Videotek VSG-10 Sync Generator w/ DAT-1 Rack Tray

1 Videotek VTM-2000 Video Waveform/Vector Scope

MISCELLANEOUS

1 Adam Audio SUB10 MK2 Powered Sub for Monitoring

2 AKG C414B-XLII Large Diaphragm Vocal Mic

2 AKG C451B Condenser Mic

1 AT AT4050 Multi Pattern Studio Condenser Mic

2 DPA 4066F Headset Microphone

109 Horizon Various Speaker and Mic Cables

1 Josephson C42 Cardioid Matched Pair Mics

2 Josephson E22s Studio Condenser Mics

1 Neuman KMS-105B Supercardioid Mic

3 Sennheiser Bodypack and Ear Monitor Transmitter and Receiver

2 Sennheiser MD421-II Drum Mic - Large

1 Shure Beta52A Dynamic Kick Drum Mic

12 Shure Studio Cardioid Condenser and Cardioid Dynamic Mic

1 Shure WCE6T Head Worn Mic

1 Westone UM-2 Clear Dual Driver Ear Monitor

14 Whirlwind Director Multi-Input Direct Box and IMP-2 Direct Box