Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA has 3,000 members and has averaged one hundred baptisms each year. Thousands have joined the church from Albany and twenty-nine surrounding communities. The church has changed from a neighborhood church to a regional, multi-ethnic congregation with members from eleven nations. Sherwood has three campuses covering 130-plus acres—the main church campus, the lower school campus and the upper school campus. An 82-acre Sports Park is currently being developed with tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, equestrian center, fishing pond, pavilion and other facilities to reach the community through sports and recreation. “Path to Truth”, the weekly broadcast of Sherwood’s services, is seen in over ninety markets around the country and is also available on the web.
Sherwood Pictures is one of the things that stand out at Sherwood. This ministry began with a conversation between Michael and Alex Kendrick on a back lot tour of Disney World. That conversation gave birth to a very “out of the box” church outreach. Senior pastor Michael Catt’s goal is to change the world from Albany, Georgia. While that may seem like a radical, even ridiculous, statement from a pastor in Southwest Georgia, it has, in fact, become a reality through Sherwood Pictures. Michael has served as the Executive Producer of Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and the newest venture to be released in 2011, “Courageous”.
In order to help churches use movies as a resource, Michael, along with Stephen Kendrick, have worked with Provident Films, Outreach and LifeWay Resources to develop Bible studies in conjunction with Facing the Giants and Fireproof.
Paragon 360 has been working for Sherwood since 2004. Paragon has completed four turn-key projects for the church and is working on others. The largest of these was a complete renovation of the audio, video, and lighting system in the 2,250 seat main sanctuary. Paragon was originally called upon to evaluate room acoustics, but it was quickly apparent that the loudspeaker system was no longer meeting the needs for this ever-growing congregation.
“Replacing the existing central audio cluster with four JBL AM-Series long throw/short throw clusters allowed even, accurate coverage throughout the floor seating areas” explains Dave Crane, audio designer. “The results were excellent and has been met with high praise from church members. Also included in the installation were new Electro-Voice power amplifiers and Biamp Nexia processing. Some soft-goods were also added on the catwalk areas to clean up the look and to address acoustic issues.”
The lighting system was upgraded with new motorized front-of-house lighting positions and upstage backlight positions that allowed for the proper angle of lighting for television. New conventional fixtures and an automated lighting package were also included along with new control systems. House lighting was updated throughout the sanctuary, cleaning up years of maintenance issues and raising the intensity. Imag projectors were relocated to improve the efficiency of the image on the screens temporarily. Other phases of the sanctuary project will include some stage/set re-design work and HD upgrades to the video production and projection system.
The new Sherwood Fellowship Hall renovation was completed in 2010 which included the installation of a new audio system, lighting systems with LED lighting technology, and video projection systems. The stage was renovated with theatrical rigging capabilities and soft-goods to be used in concerts and productions. Paragon also provided audio and lighting design and installation for an outdoor pavilion project at Sherwood’s new 83 acre sports park in addition to LED lighting upgrades in their sanctuary.
Sherwood started construction in 2012 on a new multi-level Children and Youth building expansion that includes AVL systems and staging elements in seven different spaces in addition to a facility wide digital signage system and distributed audio. Phase one of the project was completed in summer of 2013 and phase two will be complete by spring of 2014.