"Beautiful", "Modern", and "Fresh" are all words Jeff Jackson, Senior Pastor at First Redeemer Church, Cumming, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, uses to describe First Redeemer’s redesigned worship space, a project that was led by Springfield, Missouri, based Paragon 360. Upon selecting Paragon 360, due to their experience with "similar sized spaces and needs", the first steps of transformation began.
Donnie Brawner, President and CEO of Paragon 360, and his team of designers first met with the staff of First Redeemer Church for what they call "The Discovery Phase"; also referred to as "The Why". According to Donnie, "the key to success of all Paragon 360 projects centers around the determination to find the Why' behind the project. If we can figure that out and base our design around it, we will get it right every time."
Stage Renovation (First Redeemer Church)
Project Size: 801-2001 seats
Completion Date: October 4, 2015
The challenge was to create a space in First Redeemer’s 2,000 seat sanctuary, built in 1997, that could "do ministry in various ways using the same space to make good use of the resources God has entrusted to us by reusing the same stage for a contemporary service and for a blended service” as per Pastor Jeff Jackson.
Beginning with the scenic environment of the sanctuary, Paragon 360 designed First Redeemer’s 150-member choir a new riser system using Paragon’s signature Modular Staging. As the name suggests, the riser system is assembled from individual pieces, allowing for changeable sizes and shapes of layouts. Alternatively, pieces can be removed to allow for flat floor productions. The multiple-sized riser pieces are constructed as aluminum frame sections with Vantech flooring, covered with low pile black carpet. Frosted glass is used to fill the space between the aluminum railings, while custom front wood grain facades cover the front of the risers.
Next, Paragon 360 designed the walls and the stage to be completely refinished in illuminated scenic and architectural elements. Faux wood and faux rock were used vertically to intermittently break up the LED-lit, acrylic glass treatments that line the side walls of the platform. The LED-illuminated modesty walls placed in front of the band continue the design with more vertical faux rock, flanking the illuminated acrylic on either side of each piece.
Congruent with the modular theme, these modesty walls can also be moved or removed as desired. A Paragon 360 Media Wall, with six motorized 80" display monitors, provides an excellent opportunity to create any preferred camera-one background, while keeping with the style and theme of the sermon. The finishing design touch was a signature Paragon 360 Drum Enclosure. By reducing the drum volume by up to 42 decibels, this stylish enclosure adds as much functionality as it does form.
Next in design came the HD Video and Lighting packages - less obvious to the eye, but every bit as important when creating versatile environments. Over 70 LED units were used in the illumination of the various stage elements, providing changeable colors and intensities, while new HD projection systems were also installed, using Digital Projection HIGHLite Laser 3D projectors.
The three 16’ x 9’ screens for these state-of-the-art projectors were positioned along the back wall above the modular choir system, with the center screen placed in front of the baptistery. Since versatility was the main design benchmark for First Redeemer, this center screen was designed as a new, drop-down, motorized unit, allowing it to reveal the baptistery when needed, yet contribute to the worship experience when the baptistery is not in use.
At the start of the design process, the Staff at First Redeemer received full color, realistic renderings from Paragon 360, which provided visual images and details of the project. These renderings proved to be so close to the final outcome that even Pastor Jackson marveled at how similar they were to the finished product.
Once the design process was approved and finished, the installation began. Paragon 360's prefabricated approach to renovations not only allows churches to dramatically change their spaces, it also saves countless dollars and dramatically reduces valuable time spent out of the sanctuary, as compared to typical construction methods. The extra time and efforts spent in preparations on the front end of this project ensured a quick and seamless installation process. From start to finish, the Paragon 360 team worked diligently and professionally to complete the project installation within a two week time frame - a much shorter time than the church was expecting. First Redeemer had to relocate their services during the demolition and installation process, thus the timeline of the project installation was very important to them.
Paragon 360 was able to complete the installation far sooner than the church expected, allowing them to return to their Sanctuary for worship ahead of schedule.
At Paragon 360, the highest reward we can receive is our client's satisfaction and recommendations. Pastor Jeff Jackson was kind enough to give us this summation: "Paragon knows what they are doing. They have done this many, many times. Not only do they have creative ideas, but they know how to implement those ideas very efficiently and very cost effectively."
Paragon 360’s project at First Redeemer was a highlight of 2015, and a testament to our company motto & guarantee: On time. On budget, Every time.