The Church of the Greater Faith in New Albany, Indiana, is an active and forward-thinking Pentecostal congregation that has been growing by leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to their contemporary approach to worship.
Indeed, Greater Faith’s rapid growth has been a source of both joy and challenges, and as their numbers have swelled, their modest 700-seat sanctuary now hosts two Sunday morning services, with a third service added in the afternoon.
The peaked, metal A-frame structure has long suffered from challenging acoustics, and as Jason Ryder, General Manager of Lake Charles, LA-based Porche Advance Systems explains, efforts over the years to improve the situation have only made things worse.
“Their original system was poorly designed and underpowered to begin with, and they spent the next 11 years trying to fix it,” says Ryder. “The end result was a patchwork of mis-wired, out-of-phase components, and a room with dead spots and really poor, uneven coverage everywhere.”
“They knew they ultimately needed to replace the entire system, but they had been reluctant to do so because they were looking at moving to a larger venue within the next couple of years,” adds owner Jacob Porche. “By utilizing the new Varia system from Renkus-Heinz, we were able to design an expandable, flexible system that would work for them now, and become part of their new system later.”
The new system comprises left and right arrays, each with three Varia cabinets.
“When they build the new sanctuary, these three cabinets will become the bottom three cabinets in a larger, eight-cabinet array,” explains Porche. “The fact that this was an investment that could grow with them was a huge plus.”
The top box has a 90 by 7 degree horn pattern, the middle cabinet has the transitional horn that goes from 90 to 120 degrees wide by 15 degrees vertical, and the bottom unit covers 22 degrees vertical by 120 degrees wide.
“That tapered approach enabled us to cover the entire space without resorting to EQ and processing, and to achieve a remarkably flat response from left to right,” Porche continues. “There is not a single dead spot in the entire sanctuary now.”
Ryder says the congregation’s response to the new system has been unmistakable. ““They were all singing louder and moving with the music - the energy level in the room was fantastic.”
“One of the church’s board members came up to me after a service to thank me,” adds Porche. “He said it was the first time he’d ever been able to hear every word of the sermon, and every instrument in the band.”
“With Varia, Renkus-Heinz has developed a system that can truly adapt to any environment,” Porche concludes. “The system’s variable coverage means it can work in any room, and its modular, expandable design means that the system will not become obsolete once the church moves to larger quarters.”