Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Bethel AME Church, located in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 1988 by the Reverend Dr. Ray A. Hammond and his wife and Co-Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond. Together they lead a large and active congregation with many outreach programs in the Boston area. Their ministry also touches locations across the globe through the efforts of Dr. White-Hammond's work through the church and other non profit organizations, including My Sister's Keeper. In May of this year, the church completed a move to a new location in Jamaica Plain.

Challenge:  A Sound System Upgrade Turns into Major Move.
As an existing client of Shanahan Sound, Bethel AME had been working closely with the professionals at Shanahan to upgrade their sound and video systems. Over the course of putting together upgrade plans and project designs, a structural engineer was brought in to inspect the building. During this time, it was discovered the roof was unsound and the building had other structural issues.

A move to a new location was in order, and Bethel AME secured the winning bid for a church that was being sold by the Archdiocese of Boston. For the first time in its history, church members would be worshiping and celebrating in an actual church, leaving behind the school gymnasium they had called home for many years. Fortunately for Bethel AME, Shanahan had worked with many churches in New England and had the expertise to turn the simple equipment upgrade into a full-blown sound and video installation.

Solution:  Use Creativity, AV Smarts, and Existing Equipment When Possible to Transform Space into Bethel AME's New House of Worship.
One of the first orders of business was to reorient the interior of the church, taking into consideration how Methodist services and seating layouts differ from Catholic ones. Julie O'Connor was Bethel AME's development consultant and project manager. She worked closely with Shanahan and also partnered with Barbizon Lighting to ensure systems and lighting were exceptional and offered a high quality sound and video experience for celebrations and ceremonies.

Shanahan's Shaun Crossen went to work with his system's engineers to put together the system. He stated, "Originally we had custom-made speakers built for the upgrade at the old building, but we had the good fortune of being able to use them in the new facility. This is an unusual occurrence, and I'm happy it worked out."

Shanahan installed the new audio video system, including the existing OAP C3 speakers and full video capabilities. Crossen explained, "We could not use standard projection screens due to the columns in the church, so instead we used Sharp LCD WSXGA commercial monitors mounted on the columns. The columns face the congregation and display messages and video clips. One of the advantages of these types of displays is that they are much brighter and easier to see even though they are smaller." 

Julie O'Connor, the project manager for Bethel stated, "Shanahan was the only vendor we spoke to who was willing to use our existing equipment. Everyone else told us we would have to purchase everything new. Shanahan was very creative in scoping out the equipment needs of this project, and they were willing to work within our budget."
Bethel AME celebrated its inaugural service, "A Day of Praise and Thanksgiving," at its new campus in Jamaica Plain on May 3, 2009.  The results of Shanahan's work were clearly heard and seen during the beautiful ceremony. 

Let us help you turn your audio and visual requirements into reality. Give us a call at 800-786-1556 or email us today. One of our professionals will be happy to work with you.