Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Jimmy Swaggart Ministries

Paragon 360 delivers a dramatic sanctuary renovation and system upgrades for the iconic Family Worship Center.

Project Type

  • Houses of Worship


  • Audio
  • Scenic Elements
  • Video
  • Lighting
  • Interior Design
  • Acoustics
  • Staging
  • Fabrication


  • Baton Rouge, LA

Renovating an Icon

In early 2019, Paragon 360 was contacted by Tim Tracy, Director of Television for SonLife Broadcast Network about the extensive renovation of the iconic Jimmy Swaggart Ministries Family Worship Center. This space has been the home to the Swaggarts' ministry for 30 years and the SonLife Broadcast Network programming location for over a decade. The project was going to be very challenging because the church had no interest in relocating temporarily and did not want to miss a single service. The church partnered with Paragon 360 for the multi-million dollar project which included redesign of the entire platform, along with new audio, video and lighting systems, custom rigging, extensive acoustical work and Paragon’s signature scenic and architectural elements.

Redesign for Broadcast, Intimacy & Modernization

The Paragon team extended the platform's footprint to accommodate the Swaggart team's organic approach to services allowing more space for the praise team. The lollipop stage design creates a space for all three generations of Swaggart pastors to deliver their dynamic messages with a surrounding audience. To answer a desire to make the large space feel more intimate, Paragon designed, built and installed custom, motorized, dropdown illuminated scrims that would close of the balcony space in addition to a custom, acoustical island ceiling panel system.

A cornerstone of the SonLife Broadcast Network's programming is the weekly live broadcasts from the Family Worship Center. With this being the first renovation of the space in thirty years, there was a desire to modernize the room's aesthetics. However, with a ministry focus on television, it was paramount that all of the scenic and architectural elements on the platform would be designed and built to look fantastic on camera. This meant texture, depth and dimension would be paramount.

Paragon designed, built and installed several custom, modular, architectural elements for this project including a curved wall that separates choir form orchestra at mid-platform. The wall contains an integrated curved LED wall, real wood with illuminated faux stone elements, acoustical elements, and a handrail. The backwall of the platform consisted of illuminated wooden columns, wall panels and screen surrounds with faux stone accents covering a space of 120’ wide by 36’ tall. In addition, Paragon provided a front of stage façade that ties into the stage backgrounds, several illuminated modesty walls on the platform, custom railings, curved prayer benches matching the shape of the stage thrust, a custom, branded pulpit, a surround wall for the monitor mix area and a custom drum enclosure.

Audio Systems

The Family Worship center was suffering severe acoustical issues caused by the face of the balcony, as well as the unique shape of the ceiling. After a dep acoustical analysis, the Paragon team installed acoustical elements on the front face of the balcony and fabricated a custom acoustical island ceiling throughout the sanctuary that dramatically changed the space.

The updated stage design impacted aspects of Swaggart's original audio design. The existing floor pocket infrastructure was renewed and raised to the level of the new platform. The team also relocated the monitor mix location, improved the ergonomics of the patch bays, and installed all new multi-pair cable for the entire system. The Swaggart audio production team was plain in their objectives, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." With this in mind, the Paragon design team worked within the existing system and made improvements where needed. The FOH mixing platform remained analog, and an analog patch bay was installed to accommodate the current analog connectivity of the system.

In The Client's Words

"[Paragon 360's] craftsmanship and caretaking, it shows, everywhere."

Video Systems

The main objective for the church's video system was improving the flexibility of the stage design. By integrating LED panels into the set elements, the Paragon team offered a more dynamic approach to the set design. The choir and modesty walls feature a 20' x 5' and 18' x 2' custom-curved displays, respectively. This design places 7' feet of LED panels directly behind the praise team and presenters, allowing endless flexibility and creativity for weekly broadcasts. Four 8' x 4' 10" LED confidence monitors were installed along the balcony wall.

To save cost, existing projectors were used for the main IMAG screens allowing LED displays to be used in the most significant places, including directly in the background of the primary camera angles. The LED confidence monitors eliminate the need for projection or TVs, reducing light spill, reflections, glares, and future proofs their monitoring system with a long-lasting solution. In addition, a new 7' X 12' LED display was also designed into the main lobby space which is the focal point before entering the worship center.

Lighting Systems

The cornerstone of the stage lighting upgrades in the Family Worship Center were over 100 Desisti F10 LED broadcast lights. The Paragon team worked closely with Tim Tracey to ensure that the system would meet his broadcast needs. The quality of the broadcast lighting took precedent over the experience in the room, which also led to the installation of all-new fixed WW color temperature LED house lights. The previous lighting control system was very outdated. Paragon's team provided a new lighting console and a networked DMX system that tied in stage lighting with scenic and house lighting.

Creating Engaging Environments & Transformative Experiences

Paragon’s turnkey, design-build, modular construction approach was critical to a project of this size and complexity being delivered in just twelve weeks, on-time and on-budget without missing a single Wednesday or Sunday service. Under normal construction and renovation methods, it would have taken 18-20 weeks, and the cost would have been significantly higher. The process Paragon has developed where architectural infill treatments are manufactured in a controlled environment and then transported to the jobsite as a modular component saves significant time and money.

Paragon listened to the clients’ desire to modernize the space, introduce a feeling of intimacy, and make the room camera ready. "I would tell everyone one that is contemplating Paragon 360, you could not put yourself in better hands" stated Donnie Swaggart, Evangelist & Co-pastor, Family Worship Center