Church Tech Conference Awards Nation's Most Innovative Facilities, Products

Churches across the nation were recognized for their excellence in facilities design, operation, use, and A/V production at the recently held Worship Facilities Conference & Expo (WFX) in Houston.

This year, several thousand people attended WFX - a leading event for churches seeking the best practices, advice, education and products and services to help them grow their facilities and upgrade their technical production. In addition, more than 350 companies covered the Expo Floor, offering the latest products and services including architectural design services, master planning, finance/fundraising, audio/video/lighting, building materials, information technology, building systems, digital signage, new media, website solutions and more.

Also featured at the Nov. 5-7 gathering were over 55 conference sessions, keynote presentations, and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of two local Houston-area churches, including Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, the largest in America.

"All the education sessions have tons of information I'll be able to use in our facilities," Robert Reierson from Juneau, Alaska, told Worship Facilities magazine on the opening day of WFX.

One of the most notable highlights at the fourth annual gathering was the presentation of the 2008 WFX Solomon Awards and the 2008 WFX New Product Awards.

Award categories included "Most Innovative Church Facility," "Best Technical Production Team," and "Best Video Products," among others.

The following is a complete listing of the 2008 winning companies and products:

THE SOLOMON AWARDS

Most Innovative Church Facility
Bright Side Baptist Church: Lancaster, PA
Mount Paran Church: Atlanta, GA

Best Building Contractor
The Beck Group: First Baptist Church Dallas – Criswell Center, Dallas, TX
Cogun, Inc.: Rock Bridge Community Church, Dalton, GA

Best Church Architect
BGW Services: Lutheran Church of St. Andrew, Silver Spring, MD
Visioneering Studios: Central Christian Church, Beloit, WI
Studio RED Architects: Fellowship of the Woodlands, The Woodlands, TX

Best Church Design: New Construction Project
Hope Chapel / The Salvation Army: Las Vegas, NV
Bright Side Baptist Church: Lancaster, PA
Watermark Community Church: Dallas, TX

Best Church Design: Expansion Project
Hamilton Hills Baptist Church: Fishers, IN
Canyon Ridge Christian Church: Las Vegas, NV

Best Church Design: Renovation Project
Richland Hills Church of Christ: North Richland Hills, TX
LaGrange Bible Church: LaGrange, IL
Moraine Valley Church: Palos Heights, IL

Best Construction Management: New Construction Project
Hammen Contracting, Inc: Lutheran Church of St. Andrew, Silver Spring, MD

Best Special Project
Bright Side Baptist Church: Lancaster, PA
Willow Creek Community Church: South Barrington, IL
Sight & Sound Ministries: Branson, MO

Best Overall Building Project
Bright Side Baptist Church: Lancaster, PA

Best Design, Implementation and Operation: Audio Equipment/System
Design 2020: First Baptist Church Simsponville, Simpsonville,SC
Acoustic Dimensions: Resurrection Life Church, Grandville, MI
Ravi Zacharias Internationa Ministries: Norcross, GA

Best Design, Implementation and Operation: Video Equipment/System
Temple of Greater Beth-EL: Phoenix, AZ

Most Innovative Production
Victory Life Outreach: Sherman, TX
Faith Church: New Milford, CT
Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church/Live it Live! Production Team: Marietta, GA
Sight & Sound Ministries: Branson, MO

Best Technical Production Team
Spring Place Church of God of Prophecy: Cleveland, TN
Forestville Baptist Church: Greenville, SC
Westover Church: Greensboro, NC

Best Technical Director
Ryan Hodges, Van Buren First Assembly of God: Van Buren, AR

Best Technical Contractor
MusiCraft: First Baptist Church Simpsonville, Simpsonville, SC

Best Technical Consultant
Don Allensworth and New Ground Group: WestHills Church, Villa Rica, GA
Design 2020: Rock Bridge Community Church, Dalton, GA

Best Overall AV Project
Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church/Live it Live! Production Team: Marietta, GA

NEW PRODUCT AWARDS

Best Building Material and Building System Products

• Acoustical Treatment, Fabri Trak Systems, Inc.: EZ Span System
• Architectural Lighting Product/System, ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.): ETC Unison Architectural Lighting Console System
• Building Automation Product/System, Crestron Electronics: TPS-6X
• Church Seating, Bertolini Inc: Postureflex Titan VBE 91664
• Electrical Product/System, Furman Sound: M-8Dx Power Conditioner
• HVAC Product/SystemU, ServiceU Corporation: EventU Green
• Wall CoveringU, Quad-Lock Building Systems, Ltd.: R-ETRO System
• Best Overall Building Product, ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.): ETC Unison Architectural Lighting Console System

Best Audio Products

• Digital Mixing Console, Roland Systems Group: RSS V-Mixing System
• In-ear Monitoring System, Audio-Technica U.S., Inc.: Audio-Technica M3 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System
• Large-Format Loudspeaker, Meyer Sound: UPQ-1P Wide Coverage Loudspeaker
• Microphone, Audix, Inc.: M1255
• Small-Format Loudspeaker, Meyer Sound: MM-4XP Miniature Loudspeaker
• Other Audio Product, Lab.gruppen: PLM 10000Q
• Best Overall Audio Product, Roland Systems Group: RSS V-Mixing System

Best Video Products

• Digital Signage, Sony Electronics, Inc.: VSP-NS7 Digital Signage System
• Installation Projector, Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc.: Christie HD10K-M
• Presentation Software, Renewed Vision: ProPresenter 3.5 with Advanced Alpha Keyer Modules
• Projection Screen, Elite Screens, Inc.: StarBright Ultra-High Gain Projection Screen
• Video Camera/Camcorder, Sony Electronics Inc.: PMW-EX3 XDCAM EX Camcorder
• Video Switcher/Scaler/Mixer, TV One: C2-3300
• Other Video ProductU, Gefen: HDMI over RGB Extender
• Best Overall Video Product, Renewed Vision: ProPresenter 3.5 with Advanced Alpha Keyer Modules

Best Lighting Products

• Conventional Lighting Console, Lehigh Electric Products Company: Wave
• Dimmer, Crestron Electronics: CLS-C6RF
• LED Fixture, A.C. Lighting: Chroma-Q Color Blade
• Other Lighting Product, Leprecon, LLC: aris™ Architectural Interface System
• Best Overall Lighting Product, Leprecon, LLC: aris™ Architectural Interface System

Best Digital Church Products

• Podcasting, Webcasting, and Website Streaming Media Solution, faithHighway: SermonConnect
• Best Overall Digital Church Product, faithHighway: SermonConnect

Product descriptions and categories entered are listed online at www.wfxweb.com/houston/programming/solomonawardswinners.html and www.wfxweb.com/houston/programming/newproductawardswinners.html

The next WFX is scheduled for May 13-15, 2009, in Long Beach, Calif., followed by a Fall WFX in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 28-30, 2009.