Passion Project: Passion City Church, Atlanta

The winner of the 2021 House of Worship project of the year is a powerful blend of audio, broadcast and stage lighting.

The Passion City Church in the American state of Georgia is part of the Passion Movement, a decades-old religious movement aimed at young adults aged 18 to 25. In addition to other sites in Atlanta and Washington DC, Passion City is also part of an organisation behind the Passion Conferences and Six Steps recording label. Through the conference and record label the movement is now reaching a global audience way beyond its locale.

Before it was a church, the efforts of Passion City were aimed at getting college students to engage with the life and work of Jesus. With a small team of people, the local church took flight in 2008 as small gatherings began in homes throughout Atlanta. Systems integrator Diversified was an original partner in the construction of the first permanent gathering site at 515 Garson Drive. Since that time, the ministry has embraced a variety of large events in their space (even bull riding!) and Diversified has helped with several upgrades to accommodate including loudspeaker system improvements, a cinema camera upgrade to its video system and LED walls.

This time the church partnered with Diversified to help it establish a permanent home in Cumberland, which was an area it had previously rented temporary space in but wanted to put down permanent roots. The goal of the new AV systems centred around ensuring a fresh, inspiring experience for every attendee. The emphasis was on how the technology could improve what people expect when they attend a gathering, rather than just completing a shopping list of broadcast kit it didn’t currently have. The resulting install is a great example of both form and function.

The building of the new site at Cumberland again saw Passion City work with Diversified. This project was significant because it was the first time the organisation had worked with a single partner for all the technology systems in one facility. The Passion team is fortunate to have several experts on its production team, but it also acknowledged it needed an experienced partner to help achieve its production goals.

Building a permanent home in Cumberland was not only vital for the growing church community in the city but going forward it will also serve as a production hub for the Passion organisation, meaning that all broadcast content sent out to the world is edited and mixed from this location.

Passion City prides itself on very high standards of production, with a full professional crew behind the scenes. The pastor often preaches from either Atlanta location at a moment’s notice, live streamed moments or even baptisms, going back and forth between locations, are the norm. The worship viewers experience online may be from a different location than where the live message originates from. The production team adapts in both pre-production and in real time at the highest levels.

The new auditorium features 180-degree seating spread between the main floor and the balcony with the furthest only 60 feet away from downstage centre. Although there is space for 1,400 people, an intimate feel is retained for such a large space. At the heart of the audio system is an L-Acoustics K2 loudspeaker system, Digico audio consoles, and Shure wireless. The lighting system is based around a grandMA3 console, Pathway Pathport streaming ACN lighting control, and a mix of Martin and GLP fixtures as standard, which is supplemented with rental fixtures according to the demands of particular events. The video system is comprised of a Ross Video backbone in routing and switching with two control rooms - one for the in-room IMAG cut and one for the broadcast feed that is streamed around the world, Panasonic Varicam cinema cameras with a mix of Canon and Fujinon lensing and Vinten tripods, Ross XPression and Renewed Vision ProPresenter GFX systems, Clear-Com matrix intercom, Teradek wireless video transmission, and Defy robotic dolly and wire cam systems.

A collection of Unilumin UPAD III 2.6mm LED panels are used to create visual canvases on stage that are served by a Disguise media server and play an important part in reinforcing the visual brand of Passion gatherings. The room is unusual for a House of Worship because of its lack of permanent side screens, instead relying on the stage LED canvases to share video in more engaging ways. In addition to the main auditorium environment, Diversified also installed circulation audio and video systems comprised of JBL speakers, Crown amplification, and Samsung commercial displays. Kids and student large group environments are centred around Waves LV1 audio consoles, Yamaha loudspeaker systems, MA and Chauvet lighting, and flat panel displays with Renewed Vision ProPresenter GFX.

After successfully completing the construction and system integration process at the Cumberland location, the teams at Passion City and Diversified have continued to stay connected, ensuring the overall mission of the church stays firmly supported. “Our dream was always to have a building to call home in Cumberland, and when that time came, we were laser focused on ensuring we had the right production systems in place to support what we were doing and the right partner to work with, one that had the same goals we did,” Taylor Charboneau, director of production, Passion City Church. “We love that Diversified is structured so well to make sure that our first Sunday, and the second Sunday, and the third Sunday after that were as seamless for us as possible. I’m excited to see us come out of Covid stronger than ever as a result of this new facility.”


BSS DSP and control
Clear-Com Eclipse-HX matrix intercom, Freespeak wireless intercoms
Crown 70V amplifiers
JBL 70V circulation speakers
L-Acoustics K2, Kara and A15 loudspeakers, KS28 subwoofers
Middle Atlantic equipment racks and UPS
RF Venue antenna distribution
Shure wireless mics, in-ear monitors
Waves LV1 audio console
Williams Sound assisted listening
Yamaha loudspeaker

Avocent IP KVM matrix
Chief mounts
Datapath FX4 SDI 4K to 1080 SDI outputs
Disguise 2x4 and Solo media servers
Lightware MX2 8x8 DP matrix
Marshall mini POV cameras
Multidyne fiber links, SMPTE transceiver
Panasonic Varicam LT cameras
Planar and Atomos monitoring
Renewed Vision ProPresenter GFX systems
Ross Video XPression GFX system
Samsung displays
Sharp displays
Softron media recorder
Teradek wireless TX/RX video set
Riedel Micron dark fiber transmission system
Unilumin UPAD III 2.6mm LED tiles

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