Pastor-Friendly Sound Systems: Consider your style
Grove City Church of the Nazarene — known to congregants and locals as “The Naz” — has built a large and diverse congregation in the Columbus, OH area. It offers a mix of contemporary and classic worship services, as well as hosts many conferences and concerts from national touring Christian artists.
The Naz’s 2,800-seat sanctuary has long struggled with sonic issues, including poor intelligibility and uneven coverage. As Technical Director Matt Groves explains, part of the problem is the space’s wide, cavernous, fan-shaped orientation.
“Because of that, we have extreme angles,” Groves says. “With our previous system, we were basically just ‘praying and spraying’ — putting the cabinets up there and hoping for the best.”
As the church’s sound equipment (which wasn’t ideal to begin with) started to age and need repair, it became clear to Groves and his team that an upgrade was in order. “We were putting money into a system that really wasn’t doing what we needed it to,” he recalls. “So, we had to take a step back and say, ‘OK, let’s put good money after good and reevaluate the system.’”
The evolution of the church’s worship style further dictated this upgrade. “Our church was 51 years old this past July. A few years ago, we decided to transition to an edgier type of worship, while also keeping the classic form for people who prefer that. So now, we run two different types of services — a classic service and a more contemporary one.
While The Naz’s old point-source system was adequate for the classic service, according to Groves, the church needed something more powerful for the contemporary service. “That point-source system basically just provided sound reinforcement,” he says. “So, it was very hard to differentiate voices versus instruments.”