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United City Church shines after hurricane and quarantine

United City Church shines after hurricane and quarantine

United City Church shines after hurricane and quarantine


Chauvet Professional has helped light up the rebuilt United City Church (UCC) in Humble, Texas following Harvey, the devastating Atlantic hurricane that struck in 2017. The storm left 18 inches of water lying in the 111-year-old sanctuary, formerly known as First Baptist Humble. Unfortunately, shortly after local integrator Stark Raving Solutions had installed the Chauvet Professional features, fate intervened again with the coronavirus lockdown. However, after almost two months of livestreamed services, United City Church has welcomed limited groups of worshippers to its new sanctuary, following social distancing guidelines.

“The church wanted a completely fresh start in terms of the environment created in the sanctuary,” said Marcus Hammond from Stark Raving Solutions. “They wanted a really modern lighting package – lots of colour, movers and flexibility – so that’s what our team, led by Bret Hoskins, lead system designer for the UCC project, and Jason Lericos, SRS project manager, were able to provide them.”

Colour rendering effects and set pieces played a critical role in the church’s vision. The UCC team didn’t merely want to accent the stage with evocative colours, their goal was to transform the stage and the entire sanctuary in rich palettes of bold saturates and soft pastels. A collection of 24 Rogue R2x Wash fixtures, spread out over an entire overhead grid and strategically positioned on the stage deck, are key to helping the church achieve the desired effect.

“With so many Rogue fixtures, it is easy for the church to get the range of looks it wants,” said Hammond. “We also used 10 Maverick MK2 Spots to create depth and texture on the stage.” For added colour, the rig has two COLORado Solo Batten fixtures as well as eight COLORdash Batten Q12 and 18 COLORdash Par Hex12 IP units. Most of these fixtures are run on network distribution.

“We were limited on how many cables could physically go from the booth to the main lighting rack backstage, so the lighting system is mostly done with gateways/nodes all over,” said Hammond. “Hurricane Harvey flooded multiple conduits and broke things underground, so almost all I/O for AVL in the booth needs to run via two 2-inch conduits. Lighting was impacted by forcing the design to use IP DMX protocol (sACN) everywhere, some via fibre and numerous managed network switches.”

Hurricane Harvey may have damaged the conduits, but the church has come all the way back, bigger, brighter and more colourful than ever.

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