Resourcefulness runs deep on the high arid plains of West Texas.
One way this quality has manifested itself is in the impressive tributes to faraway famous structures that locals here have erected, from the "Globe of the Great Southwest" (modeled after Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre in London), to the popular "Stonehenge Replica" at Odessa's state college.
The leaders of Life Challenge United Pentecostal Church weren't trying to duplicate a famous house of worship when they opened their new campus on the city's Grandview Avenue earlier this year, but they did want to emulate best practices from around the world, which is why they opted to add more color to their stage and sanctuary lighting.
"Color rendering has come a long way since our church last installed a lighting system," said Gabriel Loera, the Technical Director of Life Challenge. "We saw how much it enhanced services at other churches, and we wanted to have that in our new facility too."
Loera helped bring this capability to the church's new auditorium by including a collection of CHAUVET Professional Ovation, Maverick and COLORado fixtures in its lighting system. The LED luminaires, which were added to the existing fixtures brought over from the church's previous facility, include four Ovation F-915FC Fresnels, eight Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidals, three Maverick MK1 Spots and six Colorado 1 Solo wash lights.
"We added the Chauvet gear to our old house lights, which were not color changing," said Loera. "This was done for budgetary reasons. It was more cost-friendly to keep the old lights and add the new units to create a better worship environment."
Life Challenge uses IMAG during services, and the church tech team wanted to see how the new color rendering fixtures would work with video, according to Loera. "We wanted to make sure the new color would not affect video," he said. "In reality, the new lights only made things look more inviting in a live environment; they looked better on video too. Their natural white color is superior to what we had before."
Loera hung the four Ovation F-915FC Fresnels in his rig over the area just in front of the middle section of pews, positioning two of the units to the left of center and two right of center. Utilizing the motorized zoom and wide (30° - 85°) field angle of these fixtures, he is able to move from tight coverage areas to bathing the entire audience in color.
"From where I have the Fresnels positioned, I can cover any area of the church with only four units," said Loera. "I can dial in and focus on a specific section, and I can use the RGBAL color mixing system to get any color I want. So, this gives me a lot of flexibility to reflect our services in light."
Coordinating his Fresnel units above the audience with the Ovation E-910FC RGBA-Lime ellipsoidals over the stage, Loera creates deeply immersive environments by running gradients of a color theme throughout the entire room. This was evident on Palm Sunday, when he bathed the area in hopeful shades of gold and amber.
Loera flies the Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal units on upstage and downstage truss and uses them for key lighting as well as color washing. The COLORado 1 Solo units are hung on truss positioned stage-left, stage-right and upstage. Working together, they provide the kind of colorful and engaging setting on the stage that would have been impossible to imagine with the church's previous lighting system.
The Maverick MK1 Spots are hung on LCR truss above the front pews. They are used mainly for creating textures on the stage prior to services and for special effects at key points during worship.
In addition to its color rendering fixtures, the Life Challenge Church now has a collection of new warm white units. There are 16 Ovation F-265WW Fresnels and 12 Ovation E-260WW ellipsoidals, positioned throughout the rig that are used for altar and stage lighting.
"Based on my experience with all of these fixtures, I have not hesitated to recommend these lights," said Loera. "It's not just that they produce so many colors, it's also the quality of the colors. They create such a dynamic atmosphere."
So, while Life Challenge United Pentecostal might not resemble any famous landmark, its new lighting system has created something that other churches will find worth emulating!