To renovate First Baptist Jackson’s sanctuary and lobby. With new Senior Pastor Lucas joining the parish the out dated two spaces were in need of a new ambiance. The sanctuary served the parish well since it had been built, but with new members being drawn to the congregation, a more modern look including: seating, sound panels, theatrical lighting and projection screens needed to be implemented which meant rethinking the stained glass windows (allowing natural light in) and many other things that needed to be thought through.


A more modern and inviting look that would appeal to the vast age variety of the congregation, reviving the youth’s attendance, energy efficient neutral and theatrical lighting, the opportunity for appropriate sound/music management and the raised panel millwork back-drop.  

The Client:

Senior Pastor Lucas and the congregation’s design committee, led by Bob Adams (comprised of half men and half women). Bringing a new modern concept to the table, Sr. Pastor Lucas was adamant that the congregation lacked the attendance of middle aged single and married members. The goal was to not scare off the older members by changing what they’ve been so used to, but making enough changes to hopefully draw in more of a youthful presence.

What We Love:

•     How the space has transformed. When we first started, the sanctuary seemed very dated and had a traditional church atmosphere with the stained glass windows, pews and the plain plaster walls. With the windows being closed off it allowed for wires to be ran to install sconces for an additional level of lighting and added interest on the walls, plus the pews were removed.

•    The way the space feels and sounds. When you walk in the back of the sanctuary the space appears larger, more welcoming and so dramatic. With all of the sound panels, carpet and upholstered seats; sound absorption has been increased drastically.

•    The raised panel back-drop behind the choir loft was painted Sherwin Williams #7018 Dovetail creating a focal point against the coordinating, but at the same time contrasting SW #7016 Mindful Gray on the rest of the space. The darker painted panel look inspired us to carry the same concept into the newly built hand rails on the left and right sides of the stage (plexi-glass was installed inside the panel for visibility) and the matching wainscoting along the long walls.

What We Did:

The design committee and I met to go over optional finishes they wanted to use in addition to suggested finishes and fixtures I brought to the table. Once everything was decided and narrowed down myself and Bob Adams met with the different contractors to get bids on the work and materials that had been selected. A meeting was held with everyone involved to lay out the grand plan and time-lines and very soon after work commenced. In no time the wiring for the future sconces were ran into the window cavities, the windows were filled with insulation, covered with plaster and all of the walls were painted. In order to run the additional theatrical lighting we designed a crown molding that incorporated a ledge to hold the lights in a way that the light could shine up on the ceiling and wash the wall below, at the same time. The extra millwork including the crown, the wainscoting along the base of the side walls and the handrails at both ends of the stage were added to mimic the woodwork on the back wall and to help add more of a residential feel to make people feel more at home. I met with lighting sound specialists to figure how many lights to add and how many sound panels we needed given the other soft elements (carpet and upholstered chairs). The lights and sound panels were ordered, manufactured and installed to plan. Existing windows that were always covered with blinds, inset panels on the balcony handrail and where the old windows were and the new wall sconces were added were all perfect spots to incorporate sound panels needed. In the lobby/entrance new coordinating tile was selected and installed, a new guest welcome center was added and underutilized coat closets were turned into refreshment kiosks.