Southside Church based in Warner Robbins, Georgia was founded over 70 years ago. As a church with traditional roots, they have searched to find modern ways to reach new people through their three church campuses. Southside aims to make each service as accessible as possible to bring more people back to church who have not attended in many years. Leading up to their popular Easter Sunday services, one of their side screen projectors stopped working, and they needed a trustworthy and reliable solution, quickly.
The space needed very specific 16’ x 9’ panels on both sides of the stage. Southside wanted to be sure these could handle live feeds and they preferred a tighter pixel pitch of 2.9 (previously used 3.9). While they didn’t want to make any major design changes to their space, they did opt for an option that was clearer and brighter than their previous displays. Each service is held in a large auditorium setting of 2100-2400 people, and it was important to make the displays vibrant and accessible so that the people sitting in the back still felt like they were an important part of the service.
Southside Church has worked to implement visual updates throughout their campuses in recent years. LED displays weren’t something Southside’s Director of Media, Chris Clark, had a lot of knowledge about, and he knew he wanted to talk with an expert. After searching on Google and reading positive reviews, he picked up the phone and spoke with PixelFLEX’s Director of Sales, Jon Lewis. They clicked right away, and it was clear that they were on the same page about both the needs and budget of the project. Southside first worked with PixelFLEX in 2017 when PixelFLEX installed its FlexTour 3.9, center screen LED panel, to create a new look for their TV display. When it was time to replace their projectors, they already knew exactly who they wanted to work with in the midst of a demanding time of the year for Southside.
Right around the time when Chris called, PixelFLEX had just announced the new EFp Series, and had 2.9mm available and ready to be sent out. This made it possible to meet the deadline, and they were able to receive a 2.9mm resolution for less per panel than what was paid for a 3.9mm in 2017.
Chris Clark, Director of Media, said, “Our previous projectors were 14 years old, and they completely shut down one Sunday morning. We made a call to PixelFLEX without hesitation because we had such a great first experience with them. They are truly friends now, and they made the process so comfortable, clear, and upfront.”
Because Southside worked with PixelFLEX previously, they were confident about who to call to find a solution. Chris worked closely with the PixelFLEX team and was updated every step of the way. “I cannot imagine a better experience,” he said.
Southside church wants to focus on being excellent from the parking lot to the auditorium, and they have worked hard to create a thoughtful and inviting space. “Our end goal of the experience is to present the gospel as clearly as you can and it helped with that,” Chris said. The new displays also help to create a strong first impression to new visitors and make it less complicated to follow along with the service. “We want to enhance the worship experience and make it easy for people to digest the message,” Chris explained. This solution sets Southside up to continue to grow and welcome new members in the coming years.
Collaboration was an important part of the success of this project. Two of the projectors were dying, and there were multiple conversations to help find the best solution in budget. Chris said, “Jon talked about a panel that was within budget, and they already knew roughly what we wanted to spend. They needed to know the technical aspects, how would it be hung, needed trusses, needed to know about power. The crew that came out was fantastic. I would expect nothing less.”
The PixelFLEX team has enjoyed building a relationship with Southside over the years. Jon said, “Chris and I were in daily communication once we were on the clock. From motor control/truss to power/data connections and content delivery, it was all hands on deck to meet our deadline of Easter Sunday. Onsite, we were able to do software calibration to help the side screens color match closely to the LED currently installed. The sharper resolution on the smaller side walls really helps provide definition to fonts and camera work.”
The impact at Southside became clear at the very next service, and people were excited to see these improvements. “The execution of everything was perfect, zero issues. Audience reaction was exactly what we thought when they walked in, they noticed immediately. It was all much brighter and clearer. Even our staff and pastors love it. The media team loves it and is in awe. On Sunday I can overhear people talking about them noticing that service was different. We are as happy as you could possibly be.”