Genoa Church’s Modern Sanctuary and Lobby Meet the Needs of a Growing Congregation

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Genoa Church partnered with Paragon 360 in the construction and design of their new worship center. This rapidly growing congregation had reached the maximum capacity of their multi-purpose gymnasium and was ready to create the space and atmosphere that they wanted.
Our Paragon 360 team worked with them from the very beginning to assess their needs, define their vision, and specify the technologies that would be necessary to make it all come to life. Our initial needs assessment revealed that Genoa Church wanted to expand its reach to families with young children. We strategically designed the lobby and children’s spaces in support of this goal.

The spacious sanctuary design included a comprehensive package of lighting, video, broadcast, and audio systems. Our fabrication team provided custom-built scenic and stage elements. Each design decision helped them shift towards a more contemporary service; while still providing the flexibility to feature essential service elements for their blended services, like their fantastic choir.

Space for a Growing Community

Providing space for their growing congregation to connect was an essential focus of the Genoa Church construction project. Connection space was severely lacking in their previous multi-use facility. The new lobby has a sprawling footprint, connects both sides of the building, and features a stunning cafe and lounge space. It also connects the worship center and children’s area, making it the central hub for Genoa Church members on Sunday morning.

The lobby serves a central role in the church. Our team designed the lobby to support the interaction of a large number of people. Acoustical solutions installed throughout are masked as wall art. Custom-fabricated ceiling clouds make the space feel more intimate, and distributed audio creates a consistent atmosphere.

The lobby also functions as a small venue space. A push-button audio system effortlessly allows staff to grab a mic and coordinate volunteers or switch the lobby audio from background music to a live feed from the sanctuary.
The Genoa Cafe is fitted with monitors to display church announcements and the cafe menu, custom-built furniture with integrated power, and ceiling clouds to tie in with the lobby design. Our team also fabricated all the wall scenic panels that beautifully blend wood and aluminum elements.

A Spacious Sanctuary for a Multi-Generational Congregation

Coming from their multi-functional gym space, the Genoa Church team was ready to create an environment for their worship services. The goals for their new sanctuary included:

Reaching younger families.
Raising the quality of their streaming services.
Shifting towards a more contemporary service.
Working closely with Kerry Buck worship pastor at Genoa Church, our design team drew up plans for audio, video, lighting, stage, and scenic designs to help them make their Sunday morning service visions a reality.

The audio design included four main areas:

  • Front of house
  • Monitoring
  • Broadcast
  • Lobby

The front-of-house system included loudspeakers, a mixing console, and microphones for pastors, singers, drums, and the choir. Central to the design of the loudspeaker system was the height of the ceiling. Without a luxurious amount of height, we knew we would have to choose a loudspeaker system that could provide ample coverage without interfering with site lines. In addition, to future-proof their system, we specified a mixing console that had plenty of capacity and could grow with them. We also provided wireless hand-held mics and body packs for the church’s theatrical uses.

Another clear objective for the church was increasing the quality of their streaming services. Our design called for a mix of PTZ and operated cameras to minimize the impact on their volunteer requirements. However, throughout the construction and the corresponding COVID-19 pandemic, Genoa Church decided video was more important than ever to their ministry’s ongoing growth and extension. To meet this new priority, we adapted their design to include three operated Blackmagic Ursa Broadcast cameras and a hand-held camera for dynamic coverage – all with networked control. Their final video system can support seven cameras.

In addition to the seven-camera video system, our team delivered and installed four projectors and 28 TVs with distributed video supported with four-channel modulations.


To help Genoa Church reach their goal of more contemporary services, our lighting team designed a complete DMX system with motorized rigging and enough power to bring in concerts and other large outside productions. The final lighting system provides the Genoa team with an accessible way to create dynamic queues for Sunday morning services and theatrical productions. Full-color LED house lights create an immersive experience for the audience, and lit scenic elements add texture to every service aspect. The AVL networking equipment is contained in 3 centrally located racks, making servicing and maintenance a breeze.

Future Proof, Not Over Designed

We take our client’s budgets seriously, and our approach with Genoa Church was no exception. We worked within their budget to deliver the tools they needed with the features they wanted – all without limiting the potential for future expansion. Genoa Church is now well-positioned to grow for years to come.

Donnie Brawner is the founder, owner and CEO of Paragon 360, a design leader in church space design. With over 30 years’ experience, he has been involved in over 1,000 projects including some of the largest churches in the country. He has created a turnkey, holistic design approach with a focus on environment creation and unparalleled customer service that has been the centerpiece of the Paragon 360™ business model for over 20 years.