Sunday evening, I had the privilege of running Capital City Student Ministries new lighting desk, driving new lighting gear in a completely reinvented worship space. The renovation wasn’t just visual – Richard Weese, a young incredible leader wanted to re-boot the church’s entire student ministry approach. Reinventing the ministry also included reinventing a worship space in only three weeks for a kick-off at the start of the school year. The room feels awesome. Inviting, cool, progressive, all-surrounding. Just the things Richard was looking for. The part of the story I want to share goes deeper.
Until this project, I struggled to articulate the secret component of the work Bargeheights does for churches. Yes, our visual design process is unique. But, there’s something that happens that’s deeper than gear, even deeper than great design. CapCity’s project defined this quality for me. Time after time during a project, Bargeheights becomes a partner, an encourager and a champion of change. Throughout this project, I grew to know Richard well. I learned about his vision and his history with the church. Richard grew up at Capital City. He was ignited with a passion to see the church of his early years reach out to a large, untapped population of students in the area. When a position came open at Capital City, Richard left his student ministries role at a large church. Richard made the move, as crazy and unconventional as it might seem. After I understood the whole story, I could completely identify with Richard’s passion. Inexhaustible passion. Richard rallied volunteers for our project. He literally stayed up days in a row to make sure every aspect of the renovation was handled. Oh-this room remodel was the least of his work. Imagine rebooting an entire student ministry – Things like leaders, programming, marketing/getting the word out, explaining the vision to leaders in the church. Richard did all of this too, while playing a very active role in the renovation of the space. THAT’S what I love about Bargeheights worship space renovations – it’s a tangible catalyst of change!
Capital City’s existing student ministries space was typical of what we often discover during site surveys. The space had nice volume and a some existing gear that could be repurposed. We released detailed drawings, suggested new lighting positions and developed a plan for a volunteer-constructed scenic element to stretch across the entire upstage wall. The Bargeheights visual design process helped shaped the color selections of the space as well.
We supplied Bargeheights LED36 RGB washes for backlight, hung from lighting positions within the scenic design. (Yes- scenery and sets can also serve as lighting positions!). The upstage wall scenic concept is a loose interpretation of a modern rainscreen, common in 1960′s architecture. Rather than using heavy and expensive perforated metal for the rectangular forms, Bargeheights specified a low-cost, lightweight, easy-to-find substitute. To provide a third layer of illumination (following our Three Layer Theory) highlighting the scenic elements, we used the Bargeheights BAR252, stretching from stage left all the way to stage right. Front light was provided by ETC Source4 Junior lekos and ETC Smartbar2 dimming. Before the renovation, CapCity Student Ministries used two microplex dimmers and a handful of PAR56′s as their only lighting. Admittedly, the Bargeheights team is a fan of tungsten. So, using a handy black box, we converted DMX-512 to microplex and integrated Captial City’s old microplex dimmers into the new system. Add six volunteer built, floor-based par housings and for only a few hundred dollars, CapCity gained yet another layer of lighting!
Although in the grand scope of rebooting a ministry Bargeheights role was small, it was an honor to stand beside Richard as a partner and a friend. Congrats CapCity Student Ministry on a job WELL DONE!