On Easter Sunday in 1991, the Community Church of Columbus (CCC) opened its doors to the public in response to the growing spiritual need in the Columbus area. After close to six years of communal growth, CCC then purchased 8.4 acres of land and constructed a new, larger facility to accommodate growing attendance numbers.
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The first worship service in the new building took place in 1997, offering space to all those who wished to attend.
With the size of the congregation regularly increasing, church officials took an opportunity to purchase technology designed to work in a sizeable, service-based setting. CCC initially installed a basic paging system for its nursery, in order to maintain instant and silent communication between nursery staff and parents taking part in the Sunday service. The need to purchase additional paging systems emerged some time later, in order to increase reaction times to other time-sensitive situations that may arise during a church service.
After having such a good experience and overall positive responses from their current Long Range Systems (LRS) devices, CCC’s Director of Operations, Rodney Lucas, reached out to LRS in hope of solving a similar problem. Because of the church size and the number of regular attendees, reaching the right person during timely situations had been consistently difficult and disorderly. Because the need for silent communication continued to be such a high priority due to the noise-sensitive environment, Lucas searched the LRS site for an effective solution. “I wanted something simple, with a large coverage range for the entire church,” Lucas explained. He needed a system designed to maintain a flow of silent communication that gave them the ability to reach specific members of the congregation during any given situation, without disrupting the service or other members of the congregation.
Following his own research, Lucas then spoke with an LRS representative and conclusively selected the five-button Butler II paging system with alphanumeric pagers, originally produced to increase service levels and improve staff responsiveness. With five customizable buttons, the operator has the ability to select specific paging options and coordinating messages unique to their facility.
After installing the pushbutton system for sanctuary use, Lucas and other church officials went in search for volunteers to wear the pagers during services. Specifically, CCC first reached out to various law enforcement officers that attend the church—police officers, state troopers and sheriffs—asking if they would be willing to work on a volunteer basis. For example, if a distraught member causes a scene or someone spots suspicious activity in the parking lot, a church official can page one of these volunteers instantly, with a detailed, silent page, no matter the volunteer’s location within the facility.
CCC also reached out to another group of volunteer members who work in the medical profession, in order to be prepared for possible health-based situations. These nurse practitioners, doctors, dieticians, etc., voluntarily wear pagers on select Sundays, offering their knowledge and services in the instance that a fellow member falls ill, passes out or needs any other sort of medical assistance. When someone pushes the button alerting their pagers, they are instantly informed where to go and the exact situation occurring, so they can react immediately and appropriately.
Despite a usually calm and pleasant environment, an effective communication system now exists at CCC, in case any unexpected or time-sensitive situation arises within the large facility. Because of the Butler II’s wide-range capabilities and customizable, wireless features, CCC officials feel as prepared as possible for any occurrence outside normal church activity.
Implementation of the Butler II paging system substantially improved response times in those given situations, according to Lucas. But, in addition to improving reaction speeds, Lucas explained what he found to be the greatest benefit the system offered: “Peace of mind—we know, as opposed to assuming or hoping someone is going to be there in case something happens,” Lucas said. With the Butler II, they now know those volunteers are ready to respond and can be reached directly with a single push of a button.
In addition to the initial benefits experienced from the system, Lucas received an unexpected amount of enthusiastic responses in his search for volunteers. “We couldn’t believe how excited our members were to help us out,” said Lucas. Church officials were thrilled at the number of people willing to participate and work outside of their normal professional duties. Since their original request for volunteers, nearly 100 percent of available law enforcement officers and medical personal have become involved in some way.
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