CFC Johannesburg integrates its AV for an exceptional worship experience

CFC Kindsworld 5

Children’s World CFC Johannesburg

The Christian Family Church (CFC) Johannesburg, situated in Parkhaven, is a flagship worship venue for CFC International, a well-respected Christian fellowship based in South Africa. Founded by senior Pastors Drs. Theo and Beverley Wolmarans in 1979, the organisation has grown from a handful of congregants to a world-wide community of more than 150,000 followers over the past 40 years.

CFC Johannesburg serves as a flagship worship venue for CFC International and comprises an auditorium that can accommodate up to 3,400 people, as well as a 600-seater theatre used for performances and youth activities, three additional auditoriums, a Mother’s Room, and a play facility called Children’s World. In addition, the foyer area has been transformed into a family-friendly space called CFC Mall, which offers food outlets, a coffee shop, a bookstore and a Welcome Centre.

“As you enter the building, the first thing you will notice is our awesome CFC Mall, where you can expect to be greeted by one or two friendly faces. This is a great area for meeting up with your friends and family for a coffee or a quick bite. We also have a Welcome Centre in this space, where you can meet someone from the church and have any questions answered. We love meeting new people, and there is no reason why anyone should have to be alone … especially not at church,” says Pastor Theo.

In line with their vision to provide an exceptional worship experience, CFC Johannesburg recently upgraded the entire foyer area surrounding the auditorium to coincide with the church’s 40th anniversary.

CFC Mall 2

CFC Johannesburg

DWR Distribution was tasked with the technical audiovisual aspects of the project, with the brief to update the space to achieve a modern look and feel, while creating a user-friendly system that would allow the facility’s technical team to control all of the audiovisual components from a  centralised point,” explains Richard Smith, who serves as DWR’s project manager for the project.

The DWR team were tasked with deploying an integrated audiovisual system throughout the 70m space. The project included the design and installation of recessed lighting in the ceiling and bulkheads throughout the CFC Mall, which was overseen by DWR’s architectural lighting specialist, Johnny Scholtz. The project also called for the installation of multiple LED displays, which are be used for digital signage and to display content such as satellite television broadcasts and live feeds from the main auditorium, which DWR’s Schalk Botha oversaw. For the audio solution, Richard Smith specified Quest MXC601 ceiling speaker and MXS10 subs.

“The control aspects of the installation were central to the brief that we were given by Pastor Simon Roche, who served as project manager on behalf of CFC, as well and Angelo Rizzari the facility’s technical director,” explains Richard. “The technical team at CFC have had problems with their existing control system, and it was, therefore, important to Angelo and his team that the lights, audio and displays were integrated on a single system, which they wanted to be able to access and control using a simple, wall-mounted touch panel.”

Richard and the team started with network infrastructure and created a new digital backbone to enable all content to be run as AV over IP. “All of the components in the system have been migrated to the network, and we replaced outdated components to ensure that the entire system is forward compatible,” says Richard.

The team decided to specify Extron control and transmission for the main automation system. “We needed a system that could be easily upgraded and was cost-effective over the long-run, and Extron’s range ticked all of the boxes,” he says.

An Extron XTP Crosspoint 3200 chassis was chosen for main video matrixing, with three Extron DMP128 AT processors for audio processing and routing.  “We used an assortment of DTP and XTP transmission senders and receivers to send the signal to the various venues, mostly via CAT5 and CAT6 cables. However, the main feeds from the auditorium to the venues that would be streaming services are connected via fibre, with redundant CAT6 lines,” Richard explains.

CFC Mall  4

Controlling the routing, pre-sets, and scheduling is an Extron IPCP Pro550 Link Processor and a TLP Pro 1720PTG touch panel. “This system was integrated into the church’s network, and secondary control is achieved using the Extron control app on an iPad, which technician can access from anywhere in the building.”

“DWR is well established as a service provider of choice when it comes to technical services for the live events market,” says Duncan Riley of DWR. “The installation at CFC Johannesburg serves to demonstrate that our team is extremely versatile, and is able to design, implement and service a broad range of AV solutions across verticals. As the AV and IT sectors continue to converge, DWR is committed to remaining ahead of the curve, and I am extremely proud of our team for delivering this cutting-edge AV solution for CFC Johannesburg.”