Posted in projects on December 29, 2014 8:26 pm EST

Inside Job: The New Face of Mega-Church Design

A South Carolina ministry puts emphasis on worship platform design and technology upgrades.

Redemption World Outreach Center, Greenville, South Carolina. DISPLAY DETAILS Redemption’s I-5 Dicolor LED Display is on a 5mm pitch and uses Dicore processing cards that allow for individual pixel calibration.











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TAGS: architecture, avl design, avl upgrade, broadcasting, design, led display,


By Carolyn Heinze

Led by Senior Pastor Ron Carpenter, the Redemption World Outreach Center is a Pentecostal Holiness Church experiencing growth that many mega-churches these days are not. With three campuses and weekly television broadcasts, the church serves a membership of more than 13,000—in large part, thanks to Carpenter’s charismatic preaching style, which many view as visionary. To accommodate this continued growth, the 4,300-seat worship center at Redemption’s main campus in Greenville, S.C., recently received a facelift in an effort to better minister to the entirety of its congregation, whether on site or tuning in via TV. AE Global Media Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C., oversaw the design and integration of the audiovisual systems, the broadcast and Webcast technologies, as well as the stage and backdrop design.

"With modern ministry, and ministries that are forward-thinking on how they want to use media, platform design needs to be a major consideration."

—Donnie Haulk, President & CEO, AE Global Media, Charlotte, NC

CONCISE PRESENTATION The platform’s three-tier design allows AVL gear and related equipment to be easily hidden away.

As is the case when church services are broadcast, the challenge is to make the experience genuine for both those who are in the same room as the pastor, as well as those who are watching at home. At Redemption, this put the focus on the platform: it was too far away from the “live” congregation, and it no longer suited the pastor’s delivery style. “He was spending a lot of time down on the floor, making it really tough for the broadcast cameras to pick him up,” explains Donnie Haulk, president and CEO of AE Global Media. “Pastor Ron wanted to be really close to the people when he was preaching, and he felt that the existing platform was keeping him away from the congregation.” Both its positioning—30 feet away from the first row—and its height contributed to this issue.

Field of Vision

The new platform, which spans three levels, is 100 feet across: the lower thrust is 28 feet deep; the second level is 16 feet deep and 85 feet wide; with the upper level at 12 feet deep and 80 feet wide. In designing it, Haulk worked with Carpenter and the church leadership to determine what type of camera angles were necessary to achieve the preacher’s vision, as well as the aesthetics of the platform itself. “It’s a very clean, modern-looking platform,” Haulk says. The three-tiered design allows the cables, amplifiers and monitors associated with the musicians to be hidden away, for example—an important visual element, since Redemption’s praise band is quite large. “My goal was that you would see people, you would see pastors. You would not see wires and mess.”

The platform’s backdrop is in the form of a curved, 116-panel LED wall measuring 60.9 feet wide, and 8.4 feet tall, or four panels high by 29 panels wide. Supplied by Mega Systems Inc. in San Antonio, the I-5 Dicolor LED Display is on a 5mm pitch, and uses Dicore processing cards, which allow for individual pixel calibration. Three images span the wall, enabling the display of either three separate images, or one seamless image.  continued >>