First Pentecostal Church

Low-Profile, High-Performance Online Broadcast Solution Helps Church Pivot Amid Pandemic Shutdowns

With roots spanning back to the early 1930’s, First Pentecostal Church of North Little Rock, AR has a rich heritage of ministry in Central Arkansas marked by high energy, highly participatory worship services. Prior to the global pandemic of 2020, the church placed their sole focus on in-person gatherings and did not have an online streaming presence. As forced shutdowns in the U.S. began to impact the church in the early days of the pandemic, they quickly pivoted in establishing an online broadcast solution so that their faith community could continue to engage together in worship and teaching. A hodge-podge of prosumer cameras on tripods were placed in front of the stage and a simple streaming system was constructed on nearby folding tables. The result proved important to the congregation, so much so that as plans begin to emerge to regather publicly, it was clear that eliminating the online stream that had been created was not an acceptable step going forward.

Church staff reached out to Diversified in early spring 2020 for help creating a permanent video system that would allow the church to continue their popular broadcasts at the highest quality level they could achieve while trying to make the camera technology as low profile and invisible to attendees as possible. The pastoral leadership was hesitant that they did not want the sacred Sanctuary to feel like a TV studio with cameras causing distraction and drawing focus away from their priorities.

Diversified created a high-performance solution comprised of Panasonic UHD robotic cameras and Marshall micro-POV cameras that work together to capture the energy and excitement of the church’s worship gatherings while blending into the environment and avoiding undue attention. A new control room was constructed under the stage to house a volunteer team of camera and GFX operators, as well as a director and switcher operator. A broadcast audio mix is created elsewhere on campus and sent to the new control room where it is combined with the video system and broadcast via encoders to YouTube, Facebook and the church’s website.

The result is viewed by thousands weekly and has served to increase the church’s reach tangibly beyond the greater Little Rock area. The church continues to pour into volunteers and the volunteer production team has increased three-fold already in just a few short months. The quality of the broadcast has also improved as the team refines their skills and learns to get more from their tools.