Digital displays take on spiritual dimension in Michigan church

The Northridge Church in Plymouth, MI, has installed a state-of-the-art studio and three new Christie projectors to enhance its already sophisticated worship facilities – which include a 3100-seat auditorium, large stage and video screens for multimedia presentations.

The Northridge Church in Plymouth, MI, has turned to advanced digital display technology to enliven its services and turn churchgoing into a grand spiritual production. The non-denominational church treats its 7500 members to lavish services in its 3100-seat auditorium that features a large stage area, video screens for multimedia presentations, advanced audiovisual equipment and theatrical lighting. Northridge Church recently bolstered its visual capabilities by installing three new digital projectors from Christie — a Christie Roadster X9 and two Christie Vista X5s.

The Christie projectors play a major role in the church’s stage presentations, which also incorporate high-end cameras, switchers, computers and wall monitors, all controlled from a new, state-of-the-art studio facility. The projectors are used for image magnification, scenic backdrops and atmospheric effects. The Vista X5s drive 14-foot screens on either side of the stage while the Roadster X9 illuminates a 20-foot center stage screen.

Historically, Northridge has been more aggressive than the average community-based religious institution about staying on top of the latest in audiovisual technology. Its latest investments embrace the trend toward fully digital systems.

Scott Storteboom, NorthRidge Church's media director, said their existing system used to be analog and digital. They decided to go all-digital in order to get the quality and the types of effects the church wanted.

Reinforcement, which designs and builds sound, lightning and video systems for ministries, has provided the majority of NorthRidge Church’s technical support for many years. The company helped the church with the project.

A significant decision during the upgrade was moving the control room from the balcony overlooking the stage to a nearby space from which the stage is no longer visible. Christie’s two-way remote functionality allows users to monitor remotely what each projector is doing in real time.

The use of sophisticated A/V technologies enables NorthRidge Church to effectively communicate to large audiences. Besides its normally large congregation, its annual, Glory concerts attract 14,000 participants during Easter and more than 24,000 during the Christmas holidays. More than 200,000 people have attended its major holiday concerts in the past seven years.

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