A custom solution hoisted at First Baptist
USA: The sanctuary at the First Baptist Church in Thomasville, Georgia was recently renovated to meet the needs of both contemporary and traditional worship services. The church turned to local systems integrator, S&L Integrated to provide a complete audio, lighting and LED video solution as part of the upgrades.
In addition to identifying the need for updates to all of the church’s technical systems, the project specification stated that all of the sanctuary’s traditional aesthetics were to remain unaffected. Also posing a challenge was the requirement for ‘a dynamic LED video system’ for use during contemporary services that could be hidden away during traditional services. This led to the team at S&L partnering with New York-based stage rigging equipment and installation services provider JR Clancy to develop a custom roll-up LED video system, making use of Pixelflex’ FlexCurtain HD technology.
‘We’ve developed a wonderful relationship with First Baptist Church over the years, so when they approached us about conceptualising updated technology for their sanctuary renovation, we jumped at the opportunity,’ says Clay Byars, marketing and communications director at S&L. ‘Operating under a mandate to keep the aesthetics of the traditional sanctuary intact, they asked us to create an engaging “rock-n-roll” atmosphere for the contemporary services, but the necessity for tucking away the technology during the traditional service was a challenge. We developed the idea of a roll-up system so the products didn’t have to be manually taken down during worship service changeovers. We contacted the team at JR Clancy to discuss the possibility of collaborating on the roller-mechanisms, and the church loved the idea.’
‘This was definitely a first for our company,’ adds Michael Braico, project manager at JR Clancy. ‘We have rolled, hoisted and folded many things since our founding in 1885, but a flexible LED screen capable of rolling up and storing in the ceiling was a completely new type of project.’
‘We knew that the durability of the LED product would be essential to the success of the video system,’ Mr Byars continues. ‘Since Pixelflex LED technologies have been road-tested in high-energy touring productions, we were confident the FlexCurtain HD could handle the challenges associated with a rolling system and give the church a multitude of design possibilities for any worship service.’
‘The strength of the Pixelflex LED video screens lies in their flexible, modular and easily expandable design,’ furthers Mr Braico. ‘One of the challenges was that each section had its own power supply, which increased the space needed inside the hoist housing. On the other hand, this allowed for each screen to stand-alone or daisy chain with the adjacent panels, making this a world-first design.’
The renovation work complete, the custom-made system is operates at the touch of a button, much in the same way as a roll-up window shade. ‘While other LED video products may be hindered by rigid panels that bolt together, the FlexCurtain HD was the perfect solution for a rolling-hoist system,’ explains JR Clancy systems integrator Eric Huss. ‘We are constantly asked to develop custom solutions to fulfil customer requests, and it was very exciting to work with both S&L Integrated and Pixelflex to make the idea at First Baptist Church in Thomasville a design reality.’
We were thankful for the assistance of JR Clancy and the FlexCurtain HD LED video technology from Pixelflex,’ concludes Mr Byars.