Village Presbyterian among Churches Using Technology to Dazzle, Not Distract

Published: September 29, 2017
The the crowning jewel of Village Presbyterian Church's technology overhaul is Da-Lite’s Wireline Advantage projection system.

Village Presbyterian Church knows that worship services have really changed over the years. Some of the songs, stained glass, and imagery are still the same, but the delivery is very different. The modern church uses moving lights, cameras, projected images, and even killer audio to deliver its message.

“It can be like a rock show,” says Dan Stark, founder of Stark Raving Solutions, an installation firm out of Kansas City. “For younger members of churches, that’s appealing. Traditional service is not. It can actually be a big turn off to them.”


That’s one of the reasons Village Presbyterian Church decided to do an AV overhaul. Located on the sunny streets of Prairie Village, Kansas, the Village Presbyterian Church is the definition of traditional. However, in order to keep up with the changing times and attract new members, an upgrade was needed.

Of course, the project needed to be done carefully. The church didn’t want to alienate any of its existing congregation, which is currently over 4,000 members strong. To properly add a much-needed splash of technology into this traditional space, the church brought in Stark Raving Solutions, a company that has been working with churches and businesses for over 15 years.

They knew exactly how to create something that would maintain the beauty of the church and the traditional worship experience, all while bringing Village Presbyterian’s actual services to a whole new level.

“Our goal is to bring life-changing experiences and to help congregations create life-changing experiences for people in the seats. It’s not about having a big show, having the coolest sound system in the world, or having the greatest lights in the world,” says Stark.

“It’s about having the right tools, the right lights, the right audio, the right video system that fits the DNA, the teaching and preaching and worship styles of that congregation.”

This isn’t the first time the church has had work done. Founded in 1949, the Village Presbyterian Church had gone through two previous renovations, including one audio tweak 20 years ago. This most recent transformation was seen as an investment in the current congregation, as well as its future.

Enter Da-Lite’s Wireline Advantage Projection System

“Younger people want content. They want information. They want pictures, they want slides, they want video clips,” Stark says. “So the congregation is investing in these types of technologies because they want to modernize and enhance the worship and message portions of their service.”

Today, the Village Presbyterian Church features all sorts of high-tech enhancements, including:

  • Shure wireless microphones
  • Panasonic PTZ cameras
  • A DiGiCo mixing system
  • Meyer Sound MINA loudspeakers

Besides the church’s newly constructed pipe organ, the crowning jewel of the room is Da-Lite’s Wireline Advantage projection system. Instead of the bulky, fixed screens we’ve seen so many times before, this is a motorized system that can be raised and lowered as needed.

That type of setup may sound like nothing new, but the way that the system moves was a key feature for this installation. After all, despite the high-tech upgrade, the Village Presbyterian Church is still a traditional space. Stark says that bringing images into this type of area is not something that the congregation was always comfortable with, so it needed to be done carefully.

Village Presbyterian, Wireline Advantage, Da-Lite

(Click to enlarge) The Village Presbyterian Church is still a traditional church, so bringing projected video into this type of area is not something that the congregation was always comfortable with. It needed to be done carefully.

What makes the Wireline Advantage system a real standout is that it uses thin steel cables to raise and lower the screen.

Measuring up to 29 feet long, these cables not only position the screen exactly where it needs to be, but they put it there neatly, since it doesn’t require black drop. The end result is like a floating piece of art, which provides visual images to support the message and the worship.

Even better, it doesn’t block or distract the congregation from the service, the people, or the ornate decor located throughout the massive facility.

“If a projection screen just doesn’t look right in a space and it’s distracting, you’re going to lose. That’s an important piece of the Wireline product,” he says.

“This gave us the opportunity to respect the architecture of the space and to be able to bring modern content into the space, but still preserve the look and the feel of that space so that the traditional members of the church don’t get turned off.”

Blending into the existing structure was important, but the product also looks good. The Wireline Advantage system features a black border around the screen and a tension fabric, in order to deliver a smooth, stellar image.

When the system is in use, it’s lowered and paired with a ceiling-mounted Panasonic PT-DW11KU 3-chip DLP projector. Because of the size and the way that the screen hangs, those larger-than-life images can be viewed from almost anywhere in the room, including towards the back.

The look of the screen is certainly important, but safety was also a bonus selling point. The Wireline Advantage system is rated to hang above people, which is important since it’s located at the front of the room, over an often-busy platform.

Those strong cables keep the system safe and in place, but also allow the church to quietly tuck the equipment away when it’s not in use. When stored, the system sits neatly in a screen case that’s located inside the ceiling. This keeps the equipment clean, out of sight, and ready for the next service.

Read next: 6 Features Church Customers Should Pay More For

So far, Village Presbyterian Church seems to be enjoying the new system, although they still have a lot to learn about content. Stark Raving Solutions is helping them get comfortable with that. However, they are certainly pleased with the products.

“It’s preserving the look and feel of the architecture in the space, but enabling them to put good content up there so that their members will be able to have a more meaningful experience and be able to connect better with God,” Stark says. “Wireline helps that to happen.”

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Tagged with: Houses of Worship

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