Named to Outreach Magazine's 2005 list of "Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches," Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida experienced exponential growth in the years leading up to its design of a new main campus facility.
To accommodate its fast-growing congregation, the church's senior pastor Stovall Weems sought the creation of "an environment where people experience the presence of God." The church's design team sought a space that would "allow for a heightened level of connectedness and engagement."
To achieve its goals, the church worked with LIVE Design Group. The architectural firm uses a unique interactive platform to enable direct client interaction and innovation. Through this "LIVE session," the team of church leaders, architects, acoustic designers, and construction managers worked together to conceive of an arena-style facility design. Their concept included the optimal room and seating configuration along with aesthetics, acoustics, and cost.
Celebration Church project director Alex Castro sought to create process that permitted "an enhanced level of integration between the actual design of the building and the technology utilized."
The project's focus is a worship space. The 2,750-seat space is a combination of seating types (flat floor, slope floor, and two levels of stadium seating), which is meant to engender a connection between the congregation and the platform from any angle.
Arena (Celebration Church)
Project Type: New Project
Project Size: 2,001+ seats
Completion: November 18, 2012
Technology integration throughout the project includes state-of-the-art LED lighting and acoustic design. The lighting can be controlled to create various moods. The design balances sound levels between the stage and congregational singing.
Other high-tech approaches include children worship venues, a multipurpose space for youth, a café, and a bookstore. A totally flexible system of flat screens and projectors provide signage and theming controlled from a central location.
"The Arena allows us to serve our community in a greater way," says Pastor Weems. "There are now new opportunities for our church to partner with city leaders, local schools, businesses, and more."