First Baptist Church, located in downtown Springfield, Missouri, is a multi-generational house of worship with a wide range of ministries designed to engage its varied congregation. Music plays a vital role in the church’s services however the room is very acoustically challenged and with today's programming changing, the audio experience was becoming a critical need if the church was going to keep the congregation fully engaged. The church looked at several local and nationwide solutions to make sure they got this right. In the end, it was Paragon 360 that was chosen for the project.
First Baptist Church is a very traditional space with a lot of beautiful architectural features. The stage faces into the length of the sanctuary, and the area itself is quite reverberant. The choir assumes a significant role during services that, for the most part, are traditional in nature. During the holidays, the church also hosts large scale musical productions. Thus, it was crucial that the new loudspeaker system be capable of handling music reproduction while also delivering a high level of speech intelligibility regardless of architecture.
Equally important, the loudspeakers had to blend aesthetically into the space so as not to be distracting. With long reverb times associated with a sanctuary built for choir and organ, it was important to keep the sound focused on the seats in order to offer the highest level of speech intelligibility. Thus, the system design was focused primarily on sound reinforcement, as opposed to a full concert environment. However, if called upon, the system has the capacity to handle any praise band or guest artist scenario. In this case, many other local Springfield and national AVL contractors would be too brand specific to find the right solution for the space.