The Prayer Pavilion at Phoenix First Assembly of God sports a Meyer Sound system with Stella-4 loudspeakers supplemented by three arrays of M1Ds.Phoenix, AZ (February 28, 2008)–Phoenix First Assembly of God in Phoenix, AZ recently built itself a unique Prayer Pavilion, designed to hold an intimate retreat for fewer than 200 in the midst of a “mega-church” with an average weekly attendance of 15,000.
The church has a self-powered Meyer Sound Milo system in its main facility and decided it wanted one in the new pavilion as well, so media director, Tommy Robertson, told David Temby, general manager of Clearwing Productions Arizona, LLC, designers and installers of the system, that the church knew exactly what brand of loudspeaker it wanted in the new building.
The core of the loudspeaker system in the new space is 16 Stella-4 installation loudspeakers mounted in the ceiling. Three small arrays of three M1D ultracompact curvilinear array loudspeakers each, concealed behind fabric screening within the pavilion’s outer architecture, augment the Stella-4 cabinets.
“The Stella-4s add just the right amount of ambience, so that, no matter where in the room you’re sitting, you have a sense of being enveloped by the sound, rather than having it coming at you from a specific point,” Temby says.
The Prayer Pavilion’s loudspeaker system typically runs around the clock, usually playing tracks from the church’s massive library of inspirational mixes. “Two or three nights a week, we might have someone come in and perform with an acoustic guitar or small keyboard, but it’s typically pretty laid back,” says Phoenix First Audio Supervisor Bryan Worden. “It’s not a room designed for rocking out, and the system really doesn’t need to pump out maximum bass.”
Considering the room’s hard surfaces and parallel walls, the potential for unwanted reflections (despite moderate volume levels), initially caused some concern among the sound system design team. “We had budgeted for acoustic treatment, but, as it turns out, we really didn’t need any,” says Temby. “The combination of the M1D and the Stella-4 creates a system that’s powerful and focused. The sound in there is absolutely stellar.”
The Prayer Pavilion, a Jack DeBartolo-designed structure of glass, steel, and concrete, assumes a modern Asian motif, with innovative lighting that cycles through a full spectrum of colors 24 hours a day, creating an instant landmark for a wide area of Phoenix. “Our senior pastor, Tommy Barnett, had been talking for years about the idea of creating a peaceful place where our members could go for quiet reflection or small gatherings,” says Worden. “Particularly as our congregation has grown, the church has become an increasingly busy place, and a space like this one is a wonderful getaway for our congregants to enjoy.”
After putting the system in, Temby found that no news was good news. “The system had been in for a couple of weeks, and we’d heard nothing from the customer,” he says. “So I called them just to see how things were going, and they said they hadn’t called us because they were just in love with it and didn’t want us to change a thing.”