Categories
Church News

Why Church officials Should Hire a Fire Protection Engineer for Fire Safety?

church fire safety

 

You might be wondering what a fire engineer is required to do in a church. However, you have to know that fires are not choosy. As such, a church, like any other facility, can fall victim to an outbreak.

As a steward when it comes to the safety of your flock, non-zero-sum thinking on professional recommendations should prevail. And so, to speak, the fate of people in the church building hinges on you, but you can prevent any bizarre occurrences by hiring an FPE.

Each church building is unique, and so are the difficulties when it comes to fire protection. Any church must maintain fire protection tolls and carry out highlighted actions from the fire risk assessment conducted.

As a legal obligation for people in charge of non-domestic buildings, you have to carry out fire risk evaluation. The same applies to churches to ensure that every member around the place is safe. It’s always logical to let professionals do the work.

Who is a fire protection engineer?

A fire engineer is a person who specialized in applying scientific engineering principles to protect people from fires. They may work with designers, architects, and in system manufacturing, they help prevent fire breakouts. Their scope involves researching how fires break out and put the right prevention measures in place. By working with the organization, these guys’ saves live on a daily basis before the fire is triggered.

They may work at refineries, plants, and architectural firms. But since fire is not selective, any faculty needs their expertise, and churches are not left behind.

The role played by fire protection engineers on churches.

1. They apply their expertise on Church construction

Churches usually expand as they get larger congregations. For this reason, construction of new buildings or renovations is much needed. As a measure of safety, the building schematics should be designed to combat fire breakouts.

A fire protection engineer, in this case, will offer technical support that guarantees the building’s fire safety to designers. It’s the engineer’s work to help the designer create the plans that will see the accommodation of fire detection equipment.

Also, the engineer will point out where the fire escape route should be positioned. Additionally, the fire engineer will help the designer evaluate the building’s lifetime. That way, the persons affiliated with the church get to know when the building will collapse.

Still, on architectural designs, the engineer ensures that the building is built in accordance with the fire safety association rules. Further, architectural layouts for churches should enable all members to egress the building quickly. Also, it should be accessible for the fire brigades to get in and out.

2. They oversee fire safety installation.

In as much as fire safety installation sounds easy, things can go south without a professional taking charge of the program. The critical part played by fire engineers in the installation is their abilities to predict behavioral responses. These predictions are mainly based on how people may behave during the breakout. As such, they will know the areas where the installations should be mounted during a breakout and panic state.

After installation, maintenance of the fire equipment might come in handy. Still, it’s within the scope of the engineer to conduct it and ensure full functionality.

Should everything from construction to the installation be done, they will inspect if they are accurately done. In most cases, the accuracy is determined through fire drill performance testing. Should there be flaws, they will recommend the necessary rectifications. Owing to this, having the fire protection engineer do the church building inspection is a safety guarantee.

3. They offer investigative services.

Fire protection engineers’ job requirements demand that they should be able to point out and weigh faults in buildings entirely. The engineer will therefore inhibit future fire breakouts in the church building by retarding the starting points.

On the other hand, if there has been a breakout in the church’s building, the engineer will determine the cause. If it were not deliberately done, they would come with ways to prevent similar occurrences.

Still, a church can hire a fire protection engineer from an insurance firm covering their building. If there has been a breakout recently, they will determine if the cover should be applied by investigating the cause. Further, if the church’s building has a soft spot for fire incidents, the engineer shall help with the inhibition.

4. The engineer will conduct fire safety training for church officials.

Fire protection engineers are well renowned when it comes to fire safety training sessions. In companies, it’s sufficed for supervisors. Still, when it comes to churches, there is coherency.

There are the clergy members and other official people responsible for the congregation. These training sessions are mainly conducted to impart to the church members fire regulations, prevention methods, and how to act. Should there be fire policy changes, the fire engineer will keep the church members in the loop.

5. They write documented reports.

The work of a fire protection engineer is not outlived in the field of preventing fire. Their experience can also be used to write scripts for fire prevention procedures. Further, they not only write prevention plans but updated reports regarding the previous fires to the officials. The reports can be used to avoid similar cases or prevent new ones from ever happening.

6. They do researches on safety.

Churches, like other buildings, may at times experience fire breakouts. There may be fortunate times where it can be prevented, and sometimes, luck may not happen. It’s the work of a fire engineer in such cases to investigate why the protection efforts prove inefficacy.

Owing to the knowledge obtained, they can redesign fire safety equipment to ensure functionality. Further with the researches, they help the eradication of fire sources that may cause future disasters.

7. They help in the creation of paths of egress.

As aforementioned, the paths of egress are usually integrated into the architectural layout. Typically, the work of a fire engineer is pointing out where it should be located. But it doesn’t end there. Paths of egress need to have minimal ventilation.

They have to be in a way that prevents smoke entry and the spreading of fire. Since churches may be flocked during the outbreak, the engineer has to help architects design the building with sprinklers on the egression path. It’s done to delay rapid spread and ensure that everyone within the church will get out of the building safely.

Further, since they are familiar with the fire escape routes, the engineer will use the workshops’ knowledge. As a result, every member will have detailed knowledge on how to use these paths, should there is an emergency.

8. They can create fire prevention plans.

The plans for fire prevention are what is documented and issued to relevant church authority. The filed plans are usually based on recent incidents. However, if there are no recent incidents, they are lucidly based on predictions.

Moreover, educating the church officials is still part of the prevention plan. With such knowledge, they can be able to identify flammable materials and act appropriately. If they cannot handle them, they can also call for help. Still, all these details during the workshop can be documented, printed out, and shared with every church member.

9. They do maintenance in church buildings.

Church buildings are active places with different activities and multitudes of people. Wearing off of the building is something common that maintenance to keep it up to standards. Since the whole building is being maintained, fire safety installation paths are no less. Also, the ways of egress must be uniform with the entire building.

During maintenance, the engineer will help to remove combustible materials out of the paths. Besides that, he will check if the recent works carried out have interfered with the ventilation system. Should there be damages, the engineer will call for maintenance of these parts anew.

Further, the engineer has to ensure that the egress zones have proper lighting to avoid tumbling. Also, if there is loose electrical; wiring, he will oversee the fixing and proper installations.

10. They can Educate church officials on how flammable materials should be handled.

The most common fire cases are attributed to recklessness. And that starts from poor storage of flammable materials. In churches, there may be fireworks for celebrations of significant events.

If not, there may be fuel for the electricity backup system. In these cases, the fire protection work shows the members responsible for how poor storage can cause damages. Since fire protection engineers write reports, they will explain how the church’s flammable materials should be stored.

Further, if the church intends to purchase candles for certain events, the engineer will point out the right ones. It’s critical to note that there are variations of candles, and some pose major risks, should they be mishandled.

Again, the engineer will work with architects on designing the storage apartments. He will ensure that these rooms are not close to aisles and egress zones.

11. The engineers conduct training on fire response teams.

The church, unlike any other place, is usually with masses of people. For this reason, one has to take responsibility, especially during an emergency. Sufficed to say, during a fire incident, an emergency team should be in place.

As a church hiring a fire engineer to train your emergency team can be a good turn. The unit shall be imparted with knowledge on fire prevention methods within the building. If the situation exceeds the limits, they will still be able to combat it. The lesson also makes the emergency team proactive and less panicked during a fire incident.

12. They carry out assessments on purchased systems.

Most of the modern churches working nowadays depend on systems. However, one should not fail to appreciate that these systems are disguised fire sources. Nevertheless, you can stay free from paranoia by having a fire protection engineer. They work with system manufactures to assess faults in the newly manufactured electrical systems. Even though the system may be certified for use, damages may at times be disguised. Having a second eye to assess the issues can be ideal.

On the other hand, should you be using dryers, a fire protection engineer will prevent electrical malfunctioning. Failure to assess such issues and prevent them is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, if the church is fitted with sprinklers and alarms, fire protection engineers evaluate its functioning.

Take away

Owing to the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; in as much as fires may seem to be an inevitable incident- doing prevention can turn things different. Of course, fire results in regress on the economy and may cause injuries and deaths. To prevent this, you have to enlist the help of a fire protection engineer. Their work is promising, and day by day, it saves lives, and fires are inhibited.

A church is one of the most active faculties in the world. There are masses of the congregations that gather around, and their safety relies on the officials. As a show of care ad respect for human life, hiring a fire protection engineer for your church is a must-do. If they prevent your church from a fire outbreak, your property remains safe, and it’s a win for you. Also, they avoid your congregation from injuries and even death. And that way, you will have responded to your legal obligation; hence, it’s still a win for you.

These engineers play an important part in our daily living. They are committed to saving lives and preventing the community against fire outbreaks. Each faculty worldwide is appreciating their work and even embracing them as part of their employees. The same applies to churches, and every official should recall that fire has no conscience. It attacks even the most sacred places. So, hire a fire protection engineer lest your flock fall, the victim. Watch out!

Categories
Church News

The Best Churches in Palm Beach, FL

The Best Churches in Palm Beach, FL

 

Compared to other countries worldwide there are far more churches per head than in most other countries around the world. Palm Beach offers many options when it comes to churches.  Most of them will have services in English, but many will have some services in Spanish and there are even churches that offer worship in Korean and Tagalog (The language of the Philippines).

In our selection of the best churches in Palm Beach we have included a variety of types of church ranging from a Gothic Church reminiscent of the great European churches, to more modern churches that have a whole new approach to worship.

The Orthodox Zion Primitive Baptist Church

The Orthodox Zion Primitive Baptist has a mission to reach out to the “unchurched communities” in Palm Beach. The aim of the church is to be “culturally relevant.”

Activities

The church believes in five tasks that the church was set up to accomplish:

  • Service – Service is for everyone by everyone
  • Worship – The first purpose of the church is to worship God and should be continuous (done in private and public)
  • Outreach – The church believes it is its duty to share the good news
  • Relationships – Helping people feel they belong to the church, not just to believe
  • Discipleship – To assist people on a journey if growth, in both knowledge and grace.

History

The historic roots of the Orthodox Zion Primitive Baptist Church go back to 1963 when Elder William Arnold organized the church which broke away from Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church. They moved to a temporary location but later purchased the building where they had previously met as members of the Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church. Over the years, church membership grew until they outgrew the old church premises. On March 26, 1995 the church relocated to a 4.8 acre site at 2900 N. Australian Ave. in West Palm Beach.

In August 1997 the church opened its Orthodox Zion Child Development Center with just six children. Today that center caters for 89 children. In 2004 the extension continued with the development of

  • Dining Room
  • Bathrooms
  • Commercial Kitchen
  • Classrooms

Contact Information

2900 N Australian Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

First Baptist Church Of West Palm Beach (Family Church)

Family Church is one church in many neighborhoods, The church aims to be a location where the public can feel at home. The church is multigenerational, multicultural, and operates in multisite. The church welcomes people whether they are single, married, divorced, young or elderly. When the church was formed, there was still less than 1,000 people living in the city.

Activities

The church is actively training pastors and planting churches all over South Florida. Every week they hold multiple meetings in all parts of the city to introduce people to the church family. Adults, students and children all come together for a little singing, Bible teaching, and taking the lord’s supper. They hope to make these meetings fun. The following locations:

  • 4901 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens 33418
  • 18477 Loxahatchee River Rd, Jupiter 33458
  • 13475 W Indiantown Rd, Jupiter Farms 33478
  • 1950 NW Federal Hwy, Stuart 34994
  • 115 NE Solida Dr, Port St. Lucie 34983
  • 1101 S Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach 33401
  • 3600 Village Blvd, West Palm Beach 33407
  • 8401 Belvedere Rd, West Palm Beach 33411
  • 8657 Lantana Rd, Lake Worth 33467

History

The church was founded as the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach in 1901. They started by meeting in a home, then a temporary building, and then in 1965 they built the current downtown premises. They operate as a multi-site church and have planted campuses across the area (see above).

Contact Information

1101 S. Flagler Dr.

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

First Presbyterian Church

The first Presbyterian Church in North Palm Beach aims to make you feel welcome even before you visit the church.. Everybody is welcome to wear what they feel comfortable in, whether that be a suit or a pair of jeans. The church goes out of its way to present itself as a warm group of people dedicated to following Christ.

Their core values are:

  • Rooted in the Bible
  • Caring deeply about one another
  • Serving together
  • Developing leaders
  • Missionary Focused

Activities

Some 17% of the church budget goes on missionary work. The church supports three kinds of missions: Local Missions, Global Missions, and Church Planting/Growth.

Ministries

  • Adults (60+)
  • Children
  • Congregational care
  • Fellowship
  • Memorial Services
  • Men
  • Missions
  • Music
  • Prayer
  • Preschool
  • Students
  • Woman

History

The church was founded by Reverend Joseph P. Calhoun, D.D. on February 22, 1922. It was a congregation of the Presbyterian Church USA. two years later there was a split with 15 members opting to join the Presbyterian Church US (Southern Chapter). They later became the Memorial Presbyterian Church. The First Presbyterian Church continued and met at the Women’s Club, until 1925 when the new church was completed. In 1928n a storm demolished the new church and important documents were lost. Over the next 12 months membership dropped from 402 members down to 275. Over the years to follow the church helped to plant new churches and gradually added to its buildings and facilities. In 2009 the church entered into an agreement with the Korean Presbyterian Church to share buildings.

Contact information

717 Prosperity Farms Rd.

North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Parish

Since then parish was established back in 1988 the church has grown quite a bit, and in December 2009 they opened a brand new church. The church now has 2000 registered families and more than 50 ministries. the church also has over 200 students in its religious education programs.

The Adoration Chapel is open every day and has a comprehensive music program which includes several choirs. The church also features a weekly Spanish Mass and a Tagalog (Filipino) one every month.

Activities

The church has developed a large number of ministries in an effort to expand community involvement:

  1. Adoration: Paul and Yverose Jean-Mary (561) 790-4768
  2. Altar Linens: Gina Figurella (561) 793-4957
  3. Altar Server: Kerry Gornick (561) 317-8854
  4. Altar Vessels: Evelyn Barry (561) 798-9132
  5. Building & Grounds: Rick Busch (561) 798-5661 ext 101
  6. Church Mice: Isabel Lawton (561) 385-9889
  7. Coffee & Donuts: Parish office (561) 798-5661/ info@olqa.cc
  8. Columbiettes: Mary DelVecchio (561) 792-3404
  9. Contemporary Music: Steve and Janet Davis (561) 798-5661
  10. Council of Catholic Women: Ann Behar 561-603-2426 / aebccw2019@gmail.com
  11. Couples for Christ: Emmanuel Zaide 561-358-8137 / chrisclamark@comcast.net
  12. Divine Mercy: Jenine Oliveri (561) 753-7565
  13. Education & Tuition Committee: Teri Stocking (561) 282-7334
  14. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion: Deacon Bob Laquerre (561) 798-5661
  15. Family Life Ministry: Belen Andrews 618-531-3415 / kldsnw@gmail.com
  16. Festival: Marianne Duemig (561) 790-5468
  17. Finance Council: Jim Duemig (561) 798-5661 ext 112/jimD@olqa.cc
  18. Garden Ministry: Sandy Popp (561) 951-2169
  19. Homebound Eucharistic Minister: Rhonda Busch (561) 795-3205
  20. Hospital Ministry: Deacon Bob Laquerre (561) 798-5661
  21. Knights of Columbus: Gerald Donoghue jeffdonoghue@msn.com
  22. Lector: Thomas Marino 561-798-5661, ext. 110/thomm@olqa.cc
  23. Liturgy Committee: Fr. Andy Rudnicki (561) 798-5661
  24. Mass Secretary: Teri Stocking (561) 282-7334
  25. Ministry of Consolation: Irene Anderson (561) 798-5661 – call Parish Office
  26. Multimedia Ministry: Marianne Duemig (561) 790-5468
  27. Music Ministry: Thomas Marino (561) 798-5661 ext 110 / ThomM@olqa.cc
  28. Our Lady Queens of Talent: Angela DiLeonardo (561) 791-2914
  29. Parish Office Support Team: Chris Winters (561) 798-5661 ext. 103/ChrisW@olqa.cc
  30. Photography: Paule Jean-Mary 561-762-8729
  31. Religious Education: Dr. Christina Danko (561) 798-5661 ext 109/ChristinaD@olqa.cc
  32. Respect Life: Parish office (561) 798-5661
  33. Rite of Christian Initiation – RCIA: Dr. Christina Danko 561-798-5661, ext. 109/christinad@olqa.cc
  34. Rosary Makers: Yverose Jean-Mary (561) 790-4768
  35. Sacristans: Butch Figurella (561) 793-4957
  36. Skilled Trade Committee: Rick Busch (561) 798-5661 ext 101
  37. Spanish Ministry: Enrique Sobrino or Alsacia Sakellis (561) 252-0003 or 561-792-7476
  38. St. Vincent de Paul Cookie: Dykes (561) 333-4664
  39. Usher: Tom Schmidt (561) 798-8354
  40. Youth Group: Chris Winters (561) 798-5661, ext. 103 / ChrisW@olqa.cc

History

Following the foundation of the church in 1988, the first pastor began holding Sunday Mass at the Lions Club in Royal Palm Beach, and the search for a building began. They eventually found a site on Crestwood Boulevard that they purchased. In 1993 they started construction of a 3,600 square feet pavilion for outdoor services. Then in 1994 they major building for services, offices, and Parish activities. Following the arrival of several priests to assist, new buildings and activities were added. In 2006 they unveiled the drawings for an exciting new Parish Church and building that started in 2008.

The Church continues to grow and expand its embrace on the community.

Contact Details

Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Parish

100 Crestwood Boulevard South

Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33411 USA

Main: 561-798-5661

Fax: 561-798-5663

Believers Victory Church

The Victory church is a nice place to go, the people are welcoming, and the music is awesome. The church is really marketed to a younger generation but has quite a few older attendees as well. The preacher has a great way with words and it is a fun place to attend. People who are just a little curious about Jesus will not be intimidated and those who are regular worshipers can relax. People of all ages and walks of life attend this church. Visitors are very welcome at the services. The core values of the church are:

  • Faith
  • Growing up in your relationship with God
  • Service
  • Relationship
  • Honor

Ministries

The BVC (Believers Victory Church) has a strong Children’s Ministry that is fun and exciting for all age groups.

Bloom Women’s Group Fun, food, and friends

Impact Men’s Group is the place where the men of the BVC come to meet.

Elevate Youth group is a place where the potential of youth is matured

The 412 Young Adult Ministry is all about being young and unashamed of who God has created you to be.

History

The church was founded by Pastor Mark DeBehnke in 1987. At the beginning the church struggled, meeting in classes being held at Haverhill Town Hall, then inside a bus. Finally in 2002 a church building was purchased In 2004 Pastor Mark passed away and his sister Peggy followed him as leader of the church. Today Peggy and her husband Scott now lead the Believers’ Victory Church.

The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea

The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea is a mixed community which includes people from a wide range of walks of life. People who love Jesus and enjoy following him. Every Sunday the church gathers to hear the sacred stories that tell us of God’s love. The community also gathers to take part in communion before we act, and make God’s love a reality in our lives.  I like this church because our Accountant in Palm Beach attends it.

Activities

The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea operates a store named “The Church Mouse” which is one of the premier donation based resale shops in the country. The income from this store is used to fund the outreach projects of the church. The stock turns around quickly and there is always something you have not seen before. The Church Mouse is one of the busiest shops in Palm Beach.

History

Back in 1889 four people gathered on the shore of Lake Worth to establish an Episcopal Mission, which grew into the The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. They built the first church out of driftwood and old packing cases and opened in 1889 and had a capacity of 100 people. Later the church built a larger building alongside the Intracoastal Waterway. In 1925 they built the current building used today. the 1925 building was the first Protestant church in southeast Florida. The church was built in a Gothic style of architecture. It is a contrast to the modernity of the area.

The church has cloisters made up of beautiful archways, and wonderful stained glass windows. Outside there is a quiet garden where visitors can reflect. Strangely enough, the architect also decided to include Gargoyles in the construction of the church, something not normally seen in Florida.

The grounds are really well maintained and the garden and courtyard both offer a wonderful retreat where one can meditate.

Contact Information

The Church of Bethesda-By-The Sea

141 South County Rd

Palm Beach, FL 33480

Categories
Church News

Best Ways to Decorate a Church for a Wedding

church wedding decorations

Can I decorate the church for my wedding?

If you have chosen to get married in a church, either the one near your current home or the church you attended when growing up, you may decide to decorate the church for your big day. Quite often churches have their own set of rules regarding decoration so before you make any firm plans you should consult with the church.

The best way to decorate a church for your wedding is to select a theme and fit all the decorations into that theme, rather than simply adding a random selection of decorations. Consider the overall look of the church.

Consider whether the addition of a lot of garish decorations will enhance the look of the church or be detrimental. A church that is already attractive may be better left with no decorations or perhaps one central decoration.

Outdoor church décor

The first thing that people will see when they arrive for your wedding will be the exterior of the church and the church grounds. It may be a great place to introduce the theme of your wedding.

You can welcome guests, when they are about to enter the church, with a simple easel standing by the door, that displays a plain sign with your names and date. Do not make it over-elaborate, in this situation less is more. A plain white sign with a white easel is very attractive, or you may go with a brown that matches the woodwork of the church.

An interesting idea for positioning just inside the gate to the church is a decorative arch, containing flowers and greenery, which will make an excellent photo prop and can be used to frame the happy couple as they leave the church. Add some floral displays to highlight architectural features on the exterior of the church.

Some churches already have archways at the entrance to the church grounds. Take advantage of this by fixing a floral display to this arch to add a splash of color as people arrive at the ceremony.

A simple but effective exterior decoration are wreaths of “baby’s breath,” which is a plant that symbolizes ever-lasting love. These wreaths may incorporate a plan plaque in the middle with the name of the couple.

Of course, if you are on a budget, it is better to forego the exterior decoration and utilize what funds you have on the church interior.

Balconies

Some churches have a balcony above the altar, or at the back of the church. A few may even have a balcony outside, and any of these balconies can be utilized to hang garlands. Balconies, especially those above the altar can extend the decorations vertically and are very appealing visually.

How do I decorate my wedding aisle?

The aisle of the church is usually the focus of church decorations. A common way to improve the look of the aisle is to have a plain colored runner stretch the length of the aisle. This adds a degree of elegance to the décor (the church may even own one so do not forget to ask). For a touch of drama, the ushers can unroll the runner just before the bride makes her entrance.

If you plan to have a flower girl distributing real flower petals in front of the bride as she walks the aisle, the church may insist that a runner is used, as flower petals have the potential to stain floors and carpets.

Aisle decorations are an ideal way to add a touch of color to a simple church. A frequent method of decorating the aisle is to place a small bunch of flowers at the end of each pew. Place larger floral decorations either of the aisles at the back of the church and just before it reaches the altar.

An attractive effect can be achieved by lining the aisle with vines attached to the end of each pew. A particularly stunning effect can be created by constructing an archway made of vines at the back of the church

Other decorations that can be placed at the end of each pew would be candles, ribbons, or tree-like features. The aisle is an important area to decorate, so should be one of the priorities when working on a budget.

wedding aisle decorations

Decorative Columns and Lighting

Place several plaster columns along the aisle to create a vertical break to the length of the aisle. On top of the columns, you could place vases with floral displays, or you could link them with ribbon.

Instead of adding physical objects to decorate your church, have you thought about the creative use of mood lights that bathe the architecture of the church in swathes of color. Highlight those extensive rafters by bathing them in colored light, imagine the upper area of the church glowing in purple color, for example.

Alternatively, highlight key areas of the church by spotlighting. Many lighting effects can easily be created and that will be tremendously effective in adding color and light to the church. Lighting can also be a much cheaper solution for those on a budget.

Church Altar Decoration Tips

Most churches are naturally designed so that the altar is the focus of attention, it also serves as a backdrop to the proceedings during the wedding ceremony. A nicely decorated alter can make a huge impact on the way your wedding looks for those seated in the stalls. There are a variety of ways that the alter can be decorated.

Candles

A large selection of candles in candelabra, different heights, sizes, and colors can look very effective and cast a nice glow behind the bride and groom. They will look particularly good in any photographs.

Flowers

A beautiful floral display 0n the alter adds a blaze of color behind the bride and groom when viewed from the pews. For floral displays in the vicinity of the alter, consider using moveable pillars/plinths.

Other ideas

  • · Consider using an arch in the vicinity of the altar, it creates an attractive effect.
  • · Another beautiful effect is to place tree-like vegetation on either side of the altar with white lights hanging from the branches.
  • · Hire two candelabra and place them at each end of the altar with some attractive candles.
  • · Think about leasing two statues or large crosses and placing them on either side of the altar.
  • Maybe add birds like a quaker bird to liven up your color palette as well as add some fun.

Winter Church Decorations

The winter can be quite a romantic time and if you think about decoration for the church in the winter, there are several perfect options to choose from.

Imagine arriving at the church, as a guest (or the bride) and seeing all the trees in the churchyard decorated with while decorative lights, creating a fairyland look. String some market lights around the limbs of the leafless trees.

Scattering dozens of white floating candles around the altar area, with the lights, turned down low will create a romantic look.

Decorate the aisle with sets of candles of various sizes at the end of each row of pews. Alternatively place small branches from trees in vases, with the branches sprayed with frosting, and draped with colored beads.

Think about utilizing pines cones and winter foliage in displays.

A practical decoration that I saw once was to have small knitted plain blankets in a variety of warm colors draped over pews. It adds a beautiful splash of color and where you are using a cold church building is very practical too.

Choose seasonal décor

Every season has its unique qualities, we just looked at winter and how a seasonal look can be used to decorate the church. Other seasons also have a character that can be used for inspiration. Do not forget to consider all four seasons and what is right for each one. Consider the range of warm, browns and oranges captured in autumn leaves. How can you translate that into a theme for your décor? Do not feel bound by tradition. Think about the light, the yellows and greens suggested by springtime. A spring theme can make the church that much lighter and connect your special day to this joyous time of the year. Just take a few moments to visit the church and just sit quietly, taking in the natural features of the church, and imagine how it would relate to the four seasons.

Photography in the church

When thinking about the decoration of the church, it is sensible to think of the implication for any photographs taken in the church.

Taking photographs in a church can sometimes be very problematic. Some churches impose restrictions on what photographs are permitted and where the photographer is permitted to stand. The photos taken in the church can often be the most important, after all the key moments of the whole wedding take place in the church. It is important to know, understand, and plan for making the best of the situation in your church.

Sometimes photographers are only allowed to stand on a balcony to take photos or stand behind the final row of pews, neither of which is the ideal position to get the best shots. Because of this, it is wise to find out at an early stage what the policy of your chosen church is on photography. You can then plan your decorations with this is in mind.

Good wedding photographers will work as best they can within these constraints, and produce the best shots that are possible. One popular shot is where the couple is facing one another and so when planning decorations for the church, take this into account, and if this shot is possible with the church restrictions, consider what will be in the background. Place attractive decorations behind to enhance the shot. Other popular shots are looking at the faces of the bride and groom while they face the priest. These will only be possible if the photographer has access to behind the priest and slightly to the side. Once again, if that shot is going to be possible, consider what will be in the background. All of this should be considered when you are planning the church decorations.

wedding decorations for a church

Remember the rules

Before you start to plan your wedding decorations for the church, you should meet with the church and find out what rules they may or may not have regarding decorating the church, and when this can be done. Most churches will have some sort of guidelines on what can or cannot be done that you can check. By adhering to these rules, not only are you avoiding any last-minute hitches, but you are also showing respect for the church. If you have no respect for the church then why are you getting married in a church?

Typical rules

· Restrictions on the use of candles and naked flames

· Floral Guidelines, real and artificial

· Rules for how you attach decorations to pews, the altar, and balconies/walls.

· Restrictions on confetti and flower petals

· Rules regarding cleaning up and removal of decorations, including timescales.

Finally: Do you really NEED to decorate the church?

We have spent a lot of time talking about decorating the church, thinking of exotic ways to do this, and worrying about breaking and rules the church may have. Perhaps there is a case for not decorating the church, or for just adding a couple of vases of flowers at the front. Perhaps all the wonderful ideas are not necessary.

Why did you choose that particular church? Was it because you were awed by that magnificent historic architecture? Is it the classic grandeur that attracted you? Have you thought that the venue might not look a lot better in its authentic look?

You may not need to spend a lot of money decorating the church and changing its ambiance when just a few flowers are all that is required. Imagine a high roofed classical church with stone walls and wonderful wooden ceilings with just a couple of colored uplights strategically placed.

In short, before you go overboard decorating a church, really look at the church and decide if a more natural look might not be more appropriate.

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Church News

Biggest Churches in the United States

megachurches

Megachurches have become one of the most powerful influences in mainstream media. With thousands of followers and millions viewing on television, the megachurch has become a powerhouse of its own. The biggest US Churches are teaching people about how to daily live. Many offer online programming and podcasts for their members to follow during the week. And many of their pastors are best selling authors on how to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. But what are the biggest US churches? And what part of the country will you find them? These are some of the numbers from Exploring-usa.com with regards to average weekly attendance that show you the biggest US Churches in the world.

 

Lakewood Church – Houston, TX

Average Attendance – 43,500

Started back in 1959 by Joel Osteen, Sr, Lakewood Church has become a megachurch powerhouse. It began with only a few members and a vision by the senior Osteen. Today the megachurch is led by Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria. Joel is seen as the positive preacher with the positive message. With little to no theological training, Joel Osteen worked his way up in the church alongside his father. When his father called him to preach just before his death, Joel was unsure. He did not feel that he was capable to build the church and keep the members like his father wanted. He has stated that he now teaches in a way that is comfortable for him and God has done the rest. The church meets in what was the former Houston Rockets soccer arena and has missions around the world. Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria preach prosperity teaching and he has several New York Times best seller books that guide people about living a good life. It is the largest of the US Churches in the world.

 

Northpoint Church – Alpharetta, GA

Average Attendance – 30,629

Northpoint Church is based in the more affluent Alpharetta area. Built in 1996, the pastor is the well known Andy Stanley. His name should ring bells as his father is the legendary Dr. Charles Stanley. While Andy worked alongside his father, he grew in theology. Working with his father gave him the foundation, tools and resources to begin on his own. It is said that after a falling out between the two, that Andy Stanley set out on his own. He has stated that he wants to focus on leadership development and not just expansion. Andy Stanley’s style of teaching is very contemporary and relates to what is going on and relevant in today’s society. The church is seen as one of the fastest growing US Churches in the state of Georgia.

 

Life Church – Edmond, OK

Average Attendance – 30,000

Founded in 1996 by Craig Groeschel, the church’s core Christian beliefs are based from the Evangelical Covenant Church. The church also has powerful internet presence where their complimentary Bible application has been downloaded more than 200 million times. In 2001 Metro Church merged with Life Church making it a multi site facility. The Metro Church is a non-denominational church which was a great fit for Life Church. While Oklahoma is one of the campuses, as of October 2020, the church boasts 36 churches at various locations across the nation, with most of them being in the Midwest. It is the largest of the US Churches in the state of Oklahoma.

 

Gateway Church Southlake, TX

Gateway Church – Southlake, TX

Average Attendance – 28,000

Gateway Church is a very prosperous church and a huge enterprise. In the past, it reported earnings in excess of over 218 million dollars. Founded in 2000 by Pastor Morris, the church is bible based and spirit empowered with programming around the world. Pastor Robert started life involved with drinking and slowly gave his life to the Lord. His progressive teachings can be found by followers and those who are looking for a church to call home. Pastor Morris works with his wife and they both do television programming to spread the good news. He has cleaned up his life and it is because he stated that Jesus came into his life/ His wife has stated that Pastor Morris is a good, open hearted man who has given away cars to some of his members. It is in the spirit of giving that Pastor Robert Morris says he will run his church. And though his church had been on good merit financially, most recently it has had to layoff staff because of the pandemic crisis. They have recently come to a place where they meet in multiple locations as one church, while experiencing more than 100,000 people total on weekends.  I’ve personally visited Gateway church and walked away impressed.  If you are a car guy like me, you will notice a lot of trucks with banks performance parts installed, so I know they have like-minded membership.

 

Willow Creek Church – Barrington, IL

Average Attendance – 25,000

Founded on October 12, 1975 by Dave Holmbo and Bill Hybels , Willow Creek Community Church is a non-denominational, evangelical church located on the northwestern side of Chicago. They have seven locations around the Chicago area with their Spanish speaking congregation meeting in the Barrington area. In 2018, the church’s entire elder board and senior pastors resigned amid allegations of mishandling an abuse case within the church. Steven Gillen, the North Shore campus pastor was named head pastor during this time. In January 2020, Pastor Gillen announced that he would be stepping down and the search for pastors would continue. Willow Creek Church began in the Willow Creek Theatre and uses relevant biblical teachings. music and drama in guiding their members and guests.

Fellowship Church Grapevine, TX

Fellowship Church – Grapevine, TX

Average Attendance – 24,200

Fellowship Church is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which is one of the largest in the nation. Their goal is often to bring a larger audience through unorthodox teachings. The creator of the movement Pastor Ed Young, has started a controversial debate about gender with his book “Sexperiment”. Pastor Young has a simplistic style of preaching his message which seems to be more relatable to his viewership. Since 1990, the church has grown from just 30 families to campuses in Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and Norman, Oklahoma. Over the past 10 years, the church has been ranked as one of the most consistently growing churches in North America. Pastor Ed Young has also authored several books revolving around parenting, marriage and Christian living. This is another great one of the US Churches in the Texas area.

 

Christ’s Church Valley – Peoria, AZ

Average Attendance – 23,300

Christ’s Church Valley was founded in 1982 by Pastor Don Wilson in his living room. He kept the church going by renting a film theater for his parishioners. The church was finally able to find permanent residency in 1996. But it came with a price of having to raise 1 million dollars in one day to purchase the land. The church is the largest non-denominational church in Arizona, playing host church to several other locations in the area.

In 2004, the church moved into their church building of 4500 seats. And in 2006, an attached CVV building was built for their children and youth ministry.

New Spring Church Anderson, SC

New Spring Church – Anderson, SC

Average Attendance – 23,000

Deemed the largest church in South Carolina, New Spring has 15 campuses in the area. It is a part of the Southern Baptist Convention which is one of the largest in the country. The church offers what is called the Fuse ministry which helps families in understanding their dynamics within the home. These are often done online every Wednesday. You may watch with a Fuse Group or with your family. New Spring is a church that is working with what is required by the Centers for Disease Control. They ask their guests and members to wear a mask, to social distance and wash their hands. They also ask that they stay in limited, familial groups to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. This is one of the US Churches that is housed within the bible belt of the south.

 

Elevation Church – Matthews, NC

Average Attendance – 22, 200

It is one of the most well known and familiar churches in the world. With Pastor Steven Furtick, the name Elevation does not begin to speak to what this church has done. The church has gone global with online and television programming around the world. Pastor Furtick is young and brings people of all ages including youth to the pulpit. He is a progressive preacher who speaks in simple terms for his guests and members to relate. The church was created in 2006, when Steven Furtick was in his mid-twenties. Since that time he has made coming to church cool for a lot of young people. The church has a dynamic youth ministry and has undergone huge growth in Charlotte, North Carolina all the way to Toronto, Canada. Steven Furtick also brings millions into his sermons with his E- family podcasts. Elevation is seen as one of the most youthful US Churches.

 

Church of Highlands – Birmingham, AL

Average Attendance – 22,100

Founded on February 4, 2001, by Chris Hodges, the church is considered the largest and greatest church in Alabama. Hodges has used nearby Highlands College for ministry training. The church started with 34 people until 2007 when it opened a main building that offered 2400 seat capacity. The church is associated with the Association of Related Churches, a membership not quite as large as the Southern Baptist Convention. The Church of Highlands is non-denominational and offers multi-site training and teaching. This is another one of the US Churches housed in the bible belt.

 

Saddleback Church – Lake Forest, CA

Average Attendance – 22,000

Saddleback Church started with its members and guests worshipping under a tent. They were not able to get a building permit until the 1990’s. The building went up while the church grew to over 10,000 attendees per week. They are non-denominational and have expanded worldwide throughout southern California, Manila, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and Berlin. They are associated with the Southern Baptist Convention which is one of the largest in the world. Saddleback Church is one of those US Churches that offers the community the real deal. The senior pastor of Saddleback is Rick Warren. He and his wife Kay founded the church when he was just 26 years old. He is now just known as Pastor Rick. He has written several best sellers, including, “The Purpose Driven Life.” The book was on the New York Times Best selling list for over 90 weeks and sold over 32 million copies within the first 10 years of its creation.

 

Southeast Christian Church – Louisville, KY

Average Attendance – 21,700

Founded in 1962, the church is the largest in Kentucky. Starting with just over 50 members, the church has 14 other sites. The church offers Se!KidsOnline for your children to worship, read bible lessons and sing from a video. It is entertaining and gives kids something to do while the adults have their time. The Southeast Christian Church has many ministries to choose from that include; deaf and disabilities, foster care, seniors, single, middle school, high school, college age, men, women, family, children and community engagement. The church offers live streaming for your benefit.

 

Central Christian Church – Henderson, NV

Average Attendance – 21,055

The Central Christian Church is all about bringing in those that may be lost about spirituality. It seeks those who are not normal church goers but are seeking to be better. The church seeks to show those who may not go to church, how different a spiritual framework can be. Pastor Jud Wilhite is the senior pastor and also a best selling author. His approach to teaching the world of Chris is simplistic and in a conversational tone. The church wants to introduce people to Jesus and show them what he can do in changing their life for the better. They have live and on demand sermons that allow them to reach the world. It is one of the better US Churches that seeks to work within the community and streets rather in the four walls of church.

 

Dream City Church – Phoenix, AZ

Average Attendance – 21,000

Founded in 1923 by John Eiting, Dream City Church is made up of the large community within Phoenix. In 1979 Tommy Barnett became the Senior Pastor with Luke Barnett taking over as Senior Pastor in 2011. The church became a multi-site church in 2015 with the opening of the Scottsdale site. In 1994, the church founded the Dream Center which works in the community to do away with hunger and other ills of society. They have a food bank, assistance programs, a clothing bank, and other programs for combating domestic violence, human trafficking and drug addiction.

These are the biggest US Churches. They each have the love of spirituality and Jesus Christ in common. They each owe a debit to the community. They are on television, online programming and podcasts with special programs for children, youth, men, women, families and the community at large. As you can see, many of these US Churches are in the states of Texas and Florida. Many of their Senior Pastors are well known best selling authors, conference speakers and spiritual giants who teach from the pulpit but reach millions daily. This is what these U S Churches represent to an individuals, families and the world.