Congregants stream into Crosswalk Church

Published: WORSHIP

Congregants stream into Crosswalk Church

USA: Three years ago the weekly attendance at Crosswalk Church was dwindling with a congregation of 80. The Californian church’s fortunes changed when Pastor Tim Gillespie joined and grew the congregation to its current 1,200 weekly attendees. He accomplished this by embracing several elements common in modern worship, updating the décor and implementing a large production studio to facilitate live streaming, which has attracted new worshippers.

‘There’s a lot of people around the country who are in touch with our pastor but aren’t able to attend,’ explains Chad Manalo, worship director of Crosswalk Church. ‘We decided to live stream for people who aren’t able to attend, such as those on vacation, travelling for work and those who live far away.’

Mr Manalo oversees all elements of the production, including stage design, lights and music as well as live streaming. He and his team stream services using three Canon XA35 and four Xiaomi Yi Sport video cameras throughout the sanctuary. The feeds from all seven camera are directed to a Blackmagic Design Atem 4K production switcher which enable the operator to switch between each feed and to add graphics. The switcher then distributes the content to several television screens around the church and to a Teradek Cube 655 streaming encoder.

The Cube 655 is an H.264 live streaming device that transmits the video it is fed directly to live streaming services such as Facebook Live, YouTube and UStream. Crosswalk Church uses it to stream its services live via its YouTube channel at 1080p30 with a bit rate of 4Mbps. The YouTube videos are embedded on the church’s website and promoted via social media.

‘We run 100% on volunteers and every week there’s a new member on the production team,’ says Mr Manalo. ‘So for me, it was all about designing an easy-to-use system that doesn’t require experience to use.’ The Teradek Cube 655 has reportedly provided the simple solution the worship director required as volunteers only need to press the red ‘stream’ button to go live.

‘Right now our main streaming purpose is our Saturday church services,’ concludes Mr Manalo. ‘But there’s going to be some big outdoor church events happening and it’d be great to live stream those. We also want to offer it as a service so if people rent out the worship center for weddings or events, they could stream with our setup.

‘Live streaming has really become a really great way to get our community together without having to physically attend. A couple of people tune in from Australia to watch it every Saturday. My parents live in Seattle and they watch it as well.’

church, streaming, blackmagic design, teradek