Since March of 2020, virtual worship has been a vital part of our church’s ministry, which is why recent technical difficulties and failures have been so widely experienced. As we work to improve these issues, we want to communicate our future plans and our immediate actions.
In April of 2021, anticipating a return to in-person worship following a season of virtual-only, First Baptist engaged a consultant to propose an improved livestream system for our services. The congregation approved the use of our Special Fund to cover expenses of a new system with multiple cameras and added features to improve the experience of virtual worship.
After engaging a local company for installation, we soon learned that the project would be delayed due to a shortage of equipment related to demand and logistical issues. In the meantime, we began utilizing a more basic single-camera system, which our church had used for streams prior to the pandemic. The system allowed us to provide reliable streaming of our services through mid-November as we awaited an installation date of our new system. On Sunday, November 14, the equipment failed. It was tested during the following week and seemingly working, but it failed again on Sunday, November 21. The next day, a technician assessed and reported that the system was beyond repair.
A new and improved livestream is coming soon. Our installation company has recently shared that our project is next for completion. For the time being, we are streaming Sunday worship with another single-camera system, which we have previously used to stream Chapel Sunday School and occasional funeral services. The Sunday, November 28 service was streamed with this system. While the picture was adequate, the sound was poor. We expect sound quality to be improved this Sunday, December 5 with the addition of a local microphone that will provide clearer amplification of speaking voices. While this system is merely a temporary fix, we want the quality to be as high as possible. To that end, a recording of our November 28 service with improved sound quality is available here.
We hope members and friends of First Baptist will continue to count on our livestream as a source of worship and community. We expect our upgraded system, first contracted in May, to be installed soon. In the meantime we want to provide the best experience of virtual worship we can. We value your feedback, and invite you to share any you might have directly with Pastor Alan Sherouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.