Here's just a small sampling of the projects we have worked on over the years.
ROCK CHURCH CITY HEIGHTS: San Diego, CA
It's not often that the local Mayor, Chief of Police and Fire Marshall all turn out for the grand opening of a church, but in an area with one of the highest crime rates in San Diego, they did just that. Senior Pastor, Miles McPherson, along with his team at The Rock, partnered with area officials to bring hope to the City Heights neighborhood. The new campus opened in December, 2015.
The scope of the City Heights project was to transform a former car dealership into a functional space for services, with room for 450 attendees. Technical Director, Aaron Paiva, says, "The goal was to have a state of the art church in the building, with all of the latest technology necessary for a multisite location to accept a broadcast signal from the main campus." The church chose Clark to design and install the AVL for the facility - the firm's third time partnering with the San Diego congregation.
One of the selling points for the City Heights location was the building. The pastor fell in love with the architecture, which made perfect sense when staff found out it was designed by the same architect who also designed The Rock's main campus, as well as Terminal II at the San Diego International Airport. Three walls of glass are not only aesthetically pleasing; they also allow those walking or driving past to see what's happening inside the facility. As Mark Duckworth, Clark's Project Manager, says, "It's great for evangelism."
Those same glass walls provided an interesting challenge when it came to ensuring even audio coverage throughout the space. Tile flooring added another hard surface. Since covering up the glass with acoustic panels was not an acceptable alternative, Clark recommended implementing the Martin Audio MLA Mini System. Aaron says, "We had to get a PA that would allow us to control where the sound would drop off. We demo'd the Martin System and fell in love with it." Mark adds, "The new steerable Martin technology allowed us to put the sound where it needed to go and keep it off the glass."
Another hurdle presented by the glass walls was visibility of the screen. With City Heights being a multisite campus, it was imperative to have high quality video. "Clark recommended an LED screen, because projectors, while nice, won't give you that brightness, that definition, that clarity an LED screen provides to people walking by. And on Sunday mornings, you need something bright to really see, because Pastor Miles is projected on it," says Aaron. An added bonus? Visibility from the freeway. "We leave the LED screen on and put on a loop of our upcoming events so people walking or driving by can see it," Aaron adds.
A compressed schedule - the project kick-off meeting was on September 2nd and the opening was December 6th - made teamwork vital. Aaron relied heavily on Rick Sybrandy, The Rock's multisite AV Tech, throughout the project. (Rick's responsibility is supporting and troubleshooting at all of the campuses, as needed.) In fact, the City Heights project was a joint effort by the church's entire tech team, as well as their partner in the endeavor, Clark.
The AVL firm is grateful for the partnership. Mark says, "We felt like The Rock brought us in as a trusted team member. We were able to be a part of the design process and the vision from day one. That helped a lot, to have that trusted status and be a part of the collaboration." Houston Clark, Co-Founder and Principal of the company, adds, "Our partnership with The Rock began several years ago, helping them implement the streaming solution for their first remote campus. Our relationship has grown and we now partner on most all of the AV elements for their main and remote campuses. We have a great relationship - it's a friendship."
The tight timeline, and the fact that it was leading up to the busy Christmas season, required Clark to pull together all of their internal resources to ensure the project was completed on time and on budget.
Aaron and his team have been very happy with the outcome. The Technical Director says, "I love it. Out of the multisite campuses, that PA is my favorite." Rick agrees. "The PA the cleanest and closest to our main campus at Point Loma, as far as quality, clarity and low feedback. It's been working fantastically," he says.
The partnership with Clark was also a plus. Aaron says, "Working with Clark has been great. From my experience, it's not about the project; it's about the people. Clark is a partner with us, not just a provider."
Future plans include programming custom slides for the evening, in order to minister to anyone walking by or waiting at the stoplight. Using specific slides to reach prostitutes in the area are one idea. "There's a lot of potential that we haven't tapped into yet," says Aaron. They may be just getting started, but The Rock's goal of bringing hope to a community that needs it is well on its way.
Willow Creek Community Church - HD Upgrade South Barrington, IL
For the past six years, Willow Creek Community Church has rented an HD-capable production truck to help them host their single largest annual event. This year, however, with their own new HD system, designed and implemented in partnership with Clark, they were able to broadcast the Global Leadership Summit to 450 satellite locations, providing each attendee with a "front row" experience.
The driving factor in Willow Creek's upgrade of their main campus in South Barrington, IL, was an 11-year-old SD system that had begun to fail and was becoming too old to maintain. A decision was made to overhaul their distributed TV network and camera inventory at the same time. With the Global Leadership Summit just months away, the church asked us to help position them for success.
Hands down, the most daunting challenge of the project was to keep the church operational during the two and a half month install. Two teams of installation technicians worked side-by-side to pull out miles of TRIAX camera cabling and replace it with new SMPTE fiber cable.
Dave Cooke, Willow Creek's Production Department Chief Engineer, had wanted the project completed a month before the big event to allow the tech team time to learn the system. We met the challenge. He says, "Things went off very, very well. In fact, from a technical standpoint, it was probably one of the best Summits we've had."
Church of the Highlands - Greystone Campus, Birmingham, AL
Since completing the design and full integration of the Youth Theater at their main campus in 2010, Clark has been the technology services provider of choice for Alabama's Church of the Highlands (COTH). Our relationship has grown as we've teamed up on multiple projects, including designing the AVL system for their new Greystone Campus.
Meeting in a school gym since 2009, Greystone outgrew the space by 2011, and purchased a former data call center. Because COTH's prototype satellite campuses were all new construction, we adapted our usual plan to a long, narrow space with limited trim height. That entailed, prior to construction, engineering the space down to inches to ensure that the video screens had proper clearance, and that lights and speakers wouldn't block the sight lines. Even during construction, we worked closely with our 3-D design tool, continuing to fight for every inch to ensure each seat had the full audio and video experience.
According to Justin Firesheets, COTH Production Manager, the immediate win in the new facility was the sound quality. But that's not the only good news - attendance at Greystone has more than doubled since the new campus opened, and they've added a fourth Sunday service. "People love the building. It's easier to create more ownership and community in something that feels stable and permanent," says Justin.
INGLESIDE BAPTIST - MACON, GA
Ingleside Baptist of Macon, Georgia, called on Clark to redesign and revamp their 10 year old head end video system and control room. The Middle Georgia congregation wanted to make their services engaging for those attending in person, as well as others watching on TV or online.
Technical Director Chris Hawkins gave us the task of bringing the system up to an HD broadcast standard, as well upgrading the church's projectors and cameras. Another important part of the project was designing and integrating a multi purpose video system in Ingleside's gymnasium.
The project's approximately two month timeline was a challenge, especially since the church needed to stay operational during the installation. In the end, that's why Ingleside chose to partner with us.
Ingleside's worship center now has a system that not only meets, but exceeds their current needs. "There was good forward thinking from Clark on things that were outside of the scope of our current production," says Chris.
The additional service in their gymnasium, as well as the television and online presence, provide the church with opportunities to "put more nets in the water," thereby reaching more people with the Gospel message.
The Rock Church, East County Campus
Jim Stamps, Sunday and Major Event Producer at the Rock, was more than pleased with the video system Clark provided for their previous satellite - the North County Campus. So he and his team reached out to us again - this time to design and implement all the AVL systems for the East County Campus.
Since this was a video venue, they chose to put the majority of their budget toward the video and lighting, and upgrade the audio over time. "Essentially, we made the audio system a phased approach instead of putting in the end-all system from day one," says Jim.
It was important to the tech team that each campus have a similar feel. This would allow attenders to experience live worship and a crisp, clear video of the teaching each week. It also streamlines the Sunday morning production, allowing the Rock's volunteers and staff to interact among all the campuses.
Our goal at Clark is to make sure the customer is completely satisfied. Jim says, "The video is on point. The experience in the room is great! We feel like the lighting and video are exactly where we want them." He and the team gave us a shot at all of the AVL systems this time, and from all indications they are very happy with the results.
Fellowship Church - Midtown Miami
Dave Clark (no relation), Media Director at Fellowship Church (FC), ensures that the production level at the four campuses in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and one in South Miami is not only excellent, but is consistent with the main campus. He explains: "No matter what campus or location you walk into, we want the Fellowship Church DNA to be there, and for it to truly feel like 'one church in many locations.'" Recently, Dave took on the oversight of an additional campus - one in Midtown Miami. When considering technology services for the new site, FC once again chose the team at Clark.
Located just a half mile from South Beach, Midtown's Spanish Mission style building was completed in 1927. Our challenge was to take the space and retrofit it, using current technologies such as video streaming, lighting, audio and video, but still keeping that great historic vibe. One specific test in the space was placement of the monitors, which FC would normally position from a monitor console. Instead, along with the media team, we created a better solution, driving everything from front of house. We worked within the confines of the space, enabling the campus to keep the functionality and elements which uniquely characterize Fellowship Church.
Fellowship Church appreciated our willingness to do whatever it took to help them reach their objectives. Dave says, "Clark understood the vision for what we wanted to do. The technology is not the vision; it's just the way we accomplish the vision."
Church of the Highlands - Auburn Campus
In 2007, Birmingham's Church of the Highlands (COTH) established a satellite near the Auburn University campus. Four years later, packing out four services every weekend in rented space, church leadership decided to build a permanent location. They chose Clark as their technology services provider.
We have teamed up with COTH on a variety of projects over the past several years, and were excited to design not only their main room, but several theaters, including three children's spaces and all the distributed audio and video.
Our primary challenge was the simultaneous design/build of their Greystone campus, which occurred just months after completion of the Riverchase location. We've learned, though, that whenever we partner with a church over multiple projects, the synergy created increases the success of each individual outcome. We were able to take everything we've learned through our previous COTH experiences and apply it to the AVL design/integration for the Auburn campus.
Justin Firesheets, COTH's Production Manager says, "One of the things that we've appreciated about Clark is their ability to look at an idea that's already out there and say, 'How can we make this better? How can we learn from what we've already done, and try to improve upon this the next time?'
Crossings - OKC
Since 2004, the contemporary services at Crossings Community Church (CCC) have seen steady growth, even to the point of overflowing. In 2011, they made the decision to build a 1400-seat auditorium for the service, incorporating the former gymnasium. Having worked with us on previous projects, Crossings' leadership chose Clark to design their AVL system.
The primary challenge for Crossing's newest room was to make sure it was not a gym turned into a worship space, but rather a worship space that began as four 90 degree walls. Kyle Plemmons, a member of the church's Leadership Team, responsible for Worship, Media and Communications, knew the importance of getting us onboard prior to construction. "Clark was able to help the architects by shaping the walls. They also immediately got involved with the acoustic treatment, to make sure the sound was going to be the highest quality possible," he says.
Early inclusion in the planning phase also allowed us to put infrastructure in place to do everything programmatically that the church wanted to do at the time, as well as in the future. We specked additional and oversized conduit, enabling CCC to easily run more cable at a later date.
In Kyle's opinion, our greatest value was our overall design. "We knew that at the end of the project we would be pleased with the system that we had, and we weren't disappointed," he says.
GRANGER COMMUNITY CHURCH, GRANGER, INDIANA
In 2005, Granger Community Church (GCC), in Granger, Indiana, and Clark partnered to design and install a sound system for Granger's 2500-seat auditorium. Fast-forward seven years and the system needed a professional tuning. Considering positive feedback from our other clients, and the fact that we had done the original install, Sean Bublitz (www.gcccreative.com), Granger's Technical Arts Director, reached out for assistance from our audio engineers.
A recent redesign and renovation of their stage, as well as different operators since the initial installation, contributed to inconsistencies throughout the room. "Our goal was to have a consistent experience, sound-wise, no matter where you sat," says Sean.
Sean had multiple phone conversations with Ed Crippen, Senior Commissioning Engineer at Clark, regarding some of the room's issues. Upon his arrival in Indiana, Ed spent three to four days optimizing the system, making GCC's tech team a part of the process and providing them with resources that would help them manage the room's system processor after his departure. Sean says, "Ed went above and beyond my expectations to ensure that everything was great." He goes on to say, "I would never cut costs on things like room tuning. If what's coming out of your boxes doesn't sound good, it doesn't matter what kind boxes they are or who installed them."