AUSTIN, TX – Millwood Baptist is a church that emphasizes worshipper engagement. This much is evident in the live band that performs at its Sunday services, complete with piano, bass, drums, guitars and an occasional banjo. It’s also apparent in its many youth activities with names like “KidCity” and its variety of “Building Block” programs for adults.
So, when it was time to add a new lighting system to their 29-year-old building as part of a renovation project, church leaders understandably wanted something that could create a colorful contemporary look. Being practical, however, they also were seeking a system that was affordable and easy to control. They got both, thanks to a carefully planned design by Digerati Audio Video Systems, which includes a variety of fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
“Millwood Baptist has been a client of ours for many years, so when the time came to renovate their worship center, they called us,” said Mark Tarbet, president of the Austin-based company. “The church wanted to update its look, and new theatrical lighting was certainly a big part the plan. At the same time, they also wanted lights that were easier to control, because their old fixtures kept hitting the projection screens with light at services. Of course, budget was an issue too.”
Tarbet credits his local CHAUVET Professional representative Brandon Bishop with helping to put together a lighting rig that allowed Digerati to meet the church’s diverse lighting needs. “The Chauvet fixtures and our local rep Brandon Bishop helped make this happen,” he said.
The Digerati team used eight COLORado 2-Quad Zoom VW Tour RGBW LED pars and 12 COLORado 1-Tri Tour RGB LED fixtures. “We used the 2-Quad ZOOM VWs for stage wash lighting in 3,000° color temperatures,” said Tarbet. “The Tri Tours were used for effects and color washes on the stage, walls and ceilings. Now the church is painting the room with these lights to create a mood that reflects different parts of a service.”
Tarbet notes that four of the COLORado 1-Tri Tour fixtures were positioned on each side of the stage on vertical powder coated pipes that blended with the church’s décor. The four other Tri Tour fixtures were installed on overhead pipe upstage to be used as back lighting and ceiling washes.
“Our goal was to provide Millwood Baptist with effective and controlled stage washes in zone coverage, with the ability to use color as additional highlight washes,” said Tarbet. “By using color on the ceilings, walls and stage, we increased the church’s creative options and have helped it engage worshippers on another level.”
Along with adding an extra “theatrical lighting” element to the church, the new system installed by the Digerati team also increased Millwood Baptist’s control over house lighting. “We tied the architectural lighting system into the theatrical so that house lights can be controlled from the lighting console, and vice versa, “said Tarbet. “This allows us to install button panels on the walls so that a user can push a button and bring up various combinations of house and theatrical lighting cues.”
Digerati designed the lighting system at Millwood Baptist and followed up with training for church volunteers. “The church is thrilled with the system,” said Tarbet. “They are using it in new ways as they learn more. At this point it’s only scratching the surface of what it will become.”