With six separate vocal choirs, full worship band, and energetic services, First Baptist Church-Broad in Memphis Tennessee presents as a healthy and vigorous place of worship. It's also growing just as vigorously; the new church building has an auditorium that seats fifteen hundred people; as such a new sound system was a high priority.
"Music can break barriers of both language and culture," said Rod Vester, Minister of Music at First Baptist. "Within a city that has struggled with racial division, we are thankful to be known as a 'love to love' church. All are welcome to worship, so the sanctuary has to be equipped to support us."
"The new worship center was constructed to maintain the rich history of the church while looking to the bright future," said director of operations, Reverend Craig Freeman. To accomplish this, First Baptist Church-Broad enlisted the help and support of Elite Multimedia, a local technology specialist. The team was able to design video, lighting, and sound for their custom needs.
Wade Russell, relationship manager for Elite, explained, "Audio is more consistent than the ever changing interfaces of lighting and video. With a tight budget, it was better for First Baptist Church-Broad to invest in a quality sound system that could last many years. In our experience d&b audiotechnik provides high quality audio systems and they have a history of longevity. They were the clear choice."
The new auditorium includes a large balcony and a one hundred and forty five seat choir loft. To provide quality sound for both near and far seating locations Elite's system design utilized d&b Q-Series loudspeakers in the auditorium, with E-Series E8s for fill in and under the balcony. Driven by D6 and D12 amplifiers and with properly delayed 18S-SUBs, Elite were able to provide a clear and even coverage for the space.
"We had to be very directional with the loudspeaker coverage," said Russell, who has also worked with d&b on various projects in the past. "The room does not have a specific acoustic design, so we had to rely on the accurate directivity of the d&b loudspeakers to control the sound reflections. The many rigging options of the system meant it was easy to get all loudspeakers in optimum position and make everything work. The end result is truly impressive."
First Baptist Church-Broad reopened in November of 2012, and has been putting the new d&b system to good use, drawing nearly eleven hundred people for worship every week. Ranging from classical music to spirituals and gospel, to jazz and praise, the auditorium provides for a diverse and versatile set of needs. Drawing members from all walks of life, Vester and the worship team unite the congregation with spirit filled praise sessions.
Vester shares that the Ministry's goal is to "add further depth to the worship experience. It's our job to equip, encourage, and accept all people who wish to give thanks and praise with us."