Crisp, clean, modern sound in an Old World sanctuary

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Built in 1914, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church in San Jose, CA, is one of the most photographed, sketched and painted buildings in the area — not only for its Old World-style Catholic architecture, but also for its notable history. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition (the precursor to the World’s Fair) was held in San Francisco. The city was rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake, and it was hoped this massive event would bring commerce to the area. The Portuguese Pavilion was built for the Expo. After the fair was over, the pavilion was slated for demolition. A Portuguese priest of some repute in the burgeoning San Jose valley purchased it for a song. He shipped most of it — piece by piece — to its San Jose location, where it stands today. Much of the original wood and ornate decor remain. Thus, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church was founded. For a century, it has exuded Iberian charm and grace. Unfortunately, however, its sound quality was anything but awe-inspiring.

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Alternative facility options — spotlight on: happy campers!

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For an 18,000-square-foot worship center for the new Oklahoma Assembly of God State Youth Camp in Sparks, OK, a metal building system made the most sense. Here’s why.

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Science Behind the Seat: the care & keeping of your big investment

Sauder Worship Seating installation of straight and Radiance curved pews in Saint Francis of Assisi in Triangle, VA

The facility manager is the shepherd of the church grounds, which might include a range of duties — from landscaping, to building maintenance, to basic maintenance of the seating. It’s important for this individual to have thorough knowledge of how to properly clean upholstery and how often to tighten bolts on the seating.

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Do you really need to build? When divvying up your existing space makes more sense

Canaan Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO, needed 20 Sunday school classrooms. Portable room dividers delivered the outcome the church wanted, at a fraction of the cost of traditional construction.

As your church finds itself in need of more ministry space, a new building might seem like a logical solution. But, in the interest of stewardship, it pays to consider whether or not an existing space can be reimagined instead.

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Pastor-Friendly Sound Systems: Consider your style

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An upgraded, more intelligent sound system “steers” Ohio’s Grove City Church — The Naz — in the right direction

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New-build? Renovation? How to know what kind of project makes sense

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Some would argue we shouldn’t evaluate the church’s ministries. Even if a church doesn’t invite critique, it takes place every Sunday on an informal level. We know guests make a decision about a church within the first seven minutes of arriving on the campus.

Knowing this, your church (and every church) needs a partner to design its facilities — one who understands your ministry. Having the right team to first guide in an effective evaluation, and then begin to create and design a facility that functions for your ministry, helps your church be more effective.

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Sound (system) decisions — maintaining your investment

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Over the past few months, we’ve talked extensively about what to look for in a sound system. We’ve looked at different types of loudspeakers and audio technology. We’ve talked about evaluating your sanctuary space, your style of service, and your budget. And, we’ve talked about the importance of hiring a professional for what amounts to one of the biggest investments your church will make.

It makes sense, then, to conclude this series by talking a bit about maintaining your investment.

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Construction & materials: breaking down seating selection

When we think of worship seating construction and the types of materials used, what questions first come to mind? Is engineered wood better than solid wood? How will the longevity of the fabric impact the overall life of the pews, chairs or auditorium seats? What’s a realistic expectation of foam degradation?

The unknowns can be daunting. Knowing the right questions to ask can quickly put your mind at ease.

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How technology affects worship space design

Raleigh First Assembly (RFA) in Raleigh, NC

Acoustical, audio, video and lighting systems can drastically influence — positively and / or negatively — the entire built environment of a worship space.

Regardless of the type, size, style and so on, these systems today are much like the story of an old minister of music colleague: No one would ever allow a pianist to consistently miss notes while playing for worship.

The same is true for the technical staff and the equipment used.

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Science behind the seat: floor planning makes all the difference

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Congratulations! You and your congregation have made the decision to invest in new sanctuary seating.

Now what?

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