The First Baptist Church of Sebring, Florida, was founded in 1922. A lot has changed in the intervening 90 years, including the church’s move to its current location in 1987. Since then, the church has continued to expand its campus, adding a Fellowship Hall, kitchen, elevator, children’s department, and the “ROC” (Recreation Outreach Center) for athletic events, social gatherings, and youth activities. One of the things that didn’t change as quickly, however, was the church sanctuary’s sound system, which was both old and ill-designed for the church’s dimensions, which are wider than long, causing many sound problems (for instance, the 60-person choir would miss many of the weekly sermons due to lack of intelligibility through the PA system). A change needed to happen, so the church reached out to Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, for help. Today, everyone in First Baptist of Sebring can hear every word spoken by the Pastor and every note of music sung by the choir and played by the worship band.
GC Pro’s team assessed the church’s needs carefully, noting in particular the specification for a sound system with excellent horizontal dispersion characteristics, to address the building’s interior dimensions and lack of acoustical treatments. Commuting from GC Pro’s Tampa office, GC Pro Account Manager Mick Hall spent hours at the church, figuring out the best systems for its needs. These included a JBL VRX928 line array system configured as a center cluster, with two VRX dual-15-inch subwoofers.
“The old systems left a number of dead spots throughout the church,” Hall explains. “It simply didn’t have the reach, and as a result intelligibility suffered. Rooms with these kinds of dimensions need very specific kinds of system solutions.”
The new PA system was rounded out with a new Yamaha LS9 FOH console, Aviom in-ear wireless monitoring for the band, an Ashly NE24.24M matrix processor, a Sennheiser Evolution wireless microphone system, and a pair of JBL CBT 70 mini-arrays for the choir’s monitors. Hall also specified two Mitsubishi 8100 video projectors. “The big picture was to get even and consistent sound coverage for the entire sanctuary, which is something the church had never had,” says Hall.
GC Pro was chosen as the partner on this project based on the comprehensiveness of their approach, which included detailed design and consultation services and installation availability through its Approved Vendor Program, in addition to competitive pricing. “We let them know we would be their partners in this project, not just a vendor selling equipment,” says Hall. “That’s how GC Pro does it.”
For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.