Similar to many worship families across the United States, the congregation at the First Baptist Church in Thomasville, Georgia, recently underwent a sanctuary renovation to offer both contemporary and traditional worship services. Working with Thomasville’s S&L Integrated on a complete audio, lighting and LED video renovation, the church wanted to make sure that while the technical systems received an update, the traditional aesthetics of the sanctuary were not affected. Desiring a solution that would enable the use of a dynamic LED video system for the contemporary services while discreetly hiding it for the traditional, S&L Integrated teamed with JR Clancy to create a unique roll-up LED video system using FLEXCurtain HD from Nashville-based PixelFLEX.
“We’ve developed a wonderful relationship with First Baptist Church over the years, so when they approached us about conceptualising updated technology for their sanctuary renovation, we jumped at the opportunity,” said S&L Marketing and Communications Director Clay Byars. “Operating under a mandate to keep the aesthetics of the traditional sanctuary intact, they asked us to create an engaging ‘rock-n-roll’ atmosphere for the contemporary services, but the necessity for tucking away the technology during the traditional service was a challenge, and we were thankful for the assistance of JR Clancy and the FLEXCurtain HD LED video technology from PixelFLEX.”
The Parnelli Award-winning FLEXCurtain HD is a lightweight and flexible LED video screen ideal for high resolution video playback and video effects for a wide range of worship applications. Its hi-res LED video can be driven by any DVI output, and the multi-directional, flexible design makes it easy to store and transport. FLEXCurtain HD is 60-90% lighter than the competition, and using the quick-lock system, 500 square feet of FLEXCurtain HD can be set up and broken down in under 15 minutes.
Clay continued: “We developed the idea of a roll-up system so the products didn’t have to be manually taken down during worship service changeovers. We contacted the team at JR Clancy to discuss the possibility of collaborating on the roller-mechanisms, and the church loved the idea.”
“This was definitely a first for our company,” admitted JR Clancy Project Manager, Michael Braico. “We have rolled, hoisted and folded many things since our founding in 1885, but a flexible LED screen capable of rolling up and storing in the ceiling was a completely new type of project.”
At that point, the team needed to find the ideal LED technology that could work within the custom setup. Since such a system had never been created before, they needed technology with a reputation for excellent performance and durability and this led them to PixelFLEX.
“We knew that the durability of the LED product would be essential to the success of the video system,” explained Clay. “Since the PixelFLEX LED technologies have been road-tested in high-energy touring productions, we were confident the FLEXCurtain HD could handle the challenges associated with a rolling system and give the church a multitude of design possibilities for any worship service.”
Michael added: “The strength of the PixelFLEX LED video screens lies in their flexible, modular and easily expandable design. One of the challenges was that each section had its own power supply, which increased the space needed inside the hoist housing. On the other hand, this allowed for each screen to stand alone or daisy-chain with the adjacent panels, making this a world-first design.”
With the full renovation now complete, the finished system operates as easily as a group of roll-up window shades, with the simple push of a button. No longer bound by the constraints of projection, the church is free to explore new levels of creativity for its contemporary services.
“While other LED video products may be hindered by rigid panels that bolt together, the FLEXCurtain HD was the perfect solution for a rolling-hoist system,” concluded JR Clancy Systems Integrator, Eric Huss. “We are constantly asked to develop custom solutions to fulfil customer requests, and it was very exciting to work with both S&L Integrated and PixelFLEX to make the idea at First Baptist Church in Thomasville a design reality.”