Client Success Story: Calvary United Methodist Church

Bringing Calvary UMC’s A/V System Into the 21st Century

Calvary United Methodist Church is a warm and welcoming congregation serving Arlington, Virginia, for nearly a century. While the church community has always been strong, they found they desperately needed to upgrade their sound system just before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

“Our sound system was almost 30-years old,” explained Connor Williams, Assistant Minister of Connections. “We figured it was time for an upgrade and thought it would be a good time to not only change our audio equipment but look into other ways to improve our worship experience, both in-person and online. That is what led us to Audio-Video Group.”

Improving The Online Worship Experience

Calvary has been conducting online worship in addition to in-person services since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and Connor noted that the quality of the stream was low before Audio-Video Group upgraded their system. “We had an older camera and didn’t have proper lighting. On top of that, with the old audio system, we dealt with a lot of sound interference that affected our stream,” he said.

Sound interference was also affecting their in-person services. “Before the pandemic, when we would hold services in the sanctuary, the speakers would have a near-constant loud crackle, and sometimes we would even get radio frequencies,” said Connor. “It wasn’t the best situation, and people couldn’t hear from the back pews. The system was starting to fail, and it was more cost-effective to replace it than to maintain it.”

Good Audio-Video Can Help Grow Your Church

A poor sound quality meant that the church could not grow. Only those close to the pulpit could hear well, and it was holding them back from having a robust online presence.

Audio-Video Group was able to help Calvary by installing a new soundboard and a computer system to help improve the quality of the online services. We also installed two new wall-mounted cameras to give Calvary different camera angles to use throughout the service and installed stage lighting for better video quality.

“Working with Audio-Video Group was a pleasure,” Connor said. “We appreciated how responsive they were and that they had a history of working with houses of worship. I could see some of the projects they had done that aligned with what we were looking for. Plus, I knew that they understood how we function as a church.

Their online services are running more smoothly and have a higher quality now. “When I look back at old online services before the installation and then see what we have now, it’s not even comparable,” Connor explained. “We’re no longer getting a loud hissing noise, the sound isn’t breaking up, and the speakers sound so much fuller. They are blended into the room a lot better. When we have indoor in-person services again, parishioners will have the same experience no matter where they sit.”

Hybrid Worship Options: Outdoor & Online

In addition to their online service, Calvary is holding outdoor services in their parking lot every Sunday at 11 am. They have space heaters running to help keep people warm.

“I’m so pleased that we have been able to maintain services through the pandemic safely,” Connor said. “Arlington is a transient area, with people moving in and out because of their government or military jobs. So many people in our congregation understand that and know that finding a church community can be difficult if you’re not going to be in a place long-term. I’m proud of how welcoming our church is and glad that we have been able to be this stabilizing place for people during these times. Audio-Video Group has helped improve the experience, and they were patient and willing to work through changes and adaptations with us.”

Connor would like to invite anyone to attend their services, either in-person outdoors or online.

If your congregation is looking for a way to improve your online or in-person experience, we would love the opportunity to talk with you.

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