Church puts hard work into its broadcast ministry

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 26, 2001

For more than 16 years, Miss-Lou residents have had the opportunity to hear the gospel from the comfort of their homes. Since 1984, a crew of volunteers has brought the word of God to Miss-Lou residents from First Baptist Church of Natchez.

When the church expanded in 1984, starting a broadcast ministry was logical for its members and leaders. Today, the church is completely digital and is broadcast on the local cable access channel each week, according to the director.

Johnny Waycaster said the equipment was installed when the building was built, and was &uot;all foreign to us then.&uot;

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After a recent flooding problem in the broadcast room, ministry leaders decided it was time for an upgrade. Now, the system is totally digital – a claim music and media minister Chris Turner says the local cable company can’t make yet (although it’s working on it, he said).

&uot;It’s very scripted,&uot; Turner said. &uot;We have meetings before the service and the secretary types a script for the worship order.&uot;

Turner said camera crews and technicians study the script to determine camera angles, lighting schemes and microphone types.

&uot;It has to be scripted,&uot; he said. &uot;Camera guys like to know what’s going on during the service. We don’t want dead air space. We work on that every week.&uot;

The crew sometimes meets twice before a service to get every detail just right. &uot;They go over camera angles and other things like that.&uot;

Turner said the church’s stage lighting system is designed specially for television broadcasts. From a balcony-located control panel, a lighting technician can adjust lighting in the pulpit and choir areas to improve filming quality. &uot;The lights are bright,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s taken me a while to get used to them.&uot;

The ministry truly serves its viewers, Turner said, who aren’t physically able to make it to a worship service. &uot;Someone who may not be able to get out can just turn on the TV,&uot; he said. &uot;They can get the message, songs and prayer.&uot;

Although the church won’t broadcast this week’s revival, Turner said it will record its Easter and Christmas services. &uot;It’s a plus for the church. A privilege,&uot; he said. &uot;We take it seriously.&uot;

The church maintains three 10-person crews, which rotate weekly and includes many of the church’s youth. &uot;Some of the people on our crews work with the cable company,&uot; Waycaster said. &uot;It was easier that way.&uot;

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart at a map and and finds a story where it lands.