Beginning with a handful of neighbors in 1942, St Mark’s Lutheran Church has grown over the years to become one of the area’s most beloved houses of worship.
Its congregation of more than 500 members includes a mix of young and old, accommodated by two different services every Sunday—one traditional and one more contemporary.
The church’s original sanctuary was largely destroyed by fire several years ago, prompting a long-term renovation process that recently included the design and installation of a new, modern sound system.
As Tony Albano of Avondale, PA-based Naamans Creek Audio/Video explains, the new system was designed to accommodate the disparate requirements of two different types of services.
“It’s not a particularly large room, but it’s got a very high peaked ceiling, so there’s a fair amount of reflectivity, which has created some intelligibility issues,” says Albano. “Since they also offer a contemporary service with live musicians, we had a bit of a challenge with loudspeaker placement. If we located the loudspeakers behind the altar, they would then be behind the musicians as well - a major feedback risk.”
To address this challenge, Albano’s design-build opted for a pair of ENTASYS high-performance full-range column line arrays from Community Professional, powered by Crown Audio CTS4200 amplification. The consistent, focused coverage ENTASYS provides enabled Albano to position the loudspeakers far closer to the congregation than would be possible for most other systems.
“We ended up mounting the ENTASYS columns pretty much right at the front of the pews,” he says. “In fact, when you see where they’re mounted, your first impression is that there’s no way it can work, that it’s going to blow away the person sitting right in front of it. The pastor came in and looked at it and said ‘no way, everyone’s going to be sitting in the back.’ But the fact is, the ENTASYS system is so precise in its ability to control the waveform that we were able to create a pattern that projected great coverage to the back of the room while delivering manageable volume to the front pews.”
The new ENTASYS columns have worked out quite well for St. Marks. “They are extremely happy with the system,” Albano concludes. “It’s helped immensely with spoken word intelligibility for the sermons, and has done wonders for the music as well.”