A church's message may be timeless, but the same cannot be said of an actual house of worship itself. This was very evident to pastor Dr. Patrick Mead and other leaders of First Southern Baptist, a suburban Little Rock church located in a building that was constructed in 1981. Realizing that their aging structure made it more difficult to connect to young people and utilize modern technologies, Dr. Mead and his associates were preparing to begin a long fundraising campaign to pay for the construction of a new building. In consultation with Paragon 360 (Springfield, MO), it was determined that they could achieve the same goal in less time, and at a fraction of the cost, by renovating the First Southern Baptist sanctuary with a package of enhancements that included over 100 LED fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
"Over the course of a few meetings, we suggested a complete sanctuary renovation over new construction," said Paragon 360 CEO Donnie Brawner. "Our focus was on creating an engaging audience experience. That goes far beyond AVL. It involves the right stage design, the right seating, and attention to interior treatments, ceilings, architectural elements, and acoustics to create a welcoming environment."
LED fixtures from CHAUVET Professional and CHAUVET DJ played a key role in helping Paragon 360 create the desired environment at First Southern Baptist. All of the scenic and architectural lighting elements in the sanctuary were created using 56 of the company's fixtures, including the COLORado Batten 72 Tour. A batten-style wash with 72 calibrated red, green, blue, white and amber LEDs, the COLORado Batten 72 is used to bathe the new translucent panels on the sanctuary's side walls in warm rich colors.
The COLORado Deco Quad-1 Tour from CHAUVET Professional highlights the narrower architectural features of the sanctuary. CHAUVET DJ fixtures, the COLORband Pix and SlimPAR Pro LED par, are used for uplighting the sanctuary and backlighting the stage respectively. A CHAUVET Professional LED curtain was also used as a backdrop to Paragon's custom set design.
360's design at First Southern Baptist takes advantage of this feature by changing wash colors to reflect the tone and mood of different events and services.
We were able to capture for less than a million dollars everything that we had dreamed of for $7 - $10 million without rebuilding our sanctuary” said Pastor Mead. “In theory, Paragon renovated our space but in reality to me, it's a new sanctuary. This sanctuary feels nothing like the old. It is a new sanctuary, it is a new experience, it is a new feel—it is a new day in the life of our church."