Established in 1964, Weatherly Baptist Church is located in Huntsville, Alabama. Led by pastor Dr. David Freeman, the congregation has over 250 members in attendance at each Sunday morning worship service. Weatherly Baptist Church is inclusive in welcoming all onto the journey of faith. The church is focused on providing an alternative for Baptists, by discovering and exploring traditional and new areas of faith development.
Weatherly Heights Baptist Church (WHBC) wanted to use the latest technology in their children’s nursery so that they could best meet the needs of young families, especially visitors. WHBC was using volunteers to search the congregation for parents who were needed in the church nursery. “A volunteer would personally hunt down the parent,” comments Jana Williams, Weatherly Heights Baptist Church’s Minister to Families with Children. Their top priority was that parents felt safe when leaving their child in the church nursery. Finding the most efficient and effective way to communicate with parents during service was key.
Weatherly Heights Baptist Church decided to use LRS’ Nursery Paging System. The system would help alleviate anxiety and safety concerns felt by parents. Volunteers would be able to instantly page a parent when they were needed in the nursery, as well as, remind parents in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program that it was time to pick up their child.
The transmitter, and the service pagers were installed at the nursery check-in/check-out area. Before Sunday school and worship services, parents check their child in at the church nursery. At check-in, volunteers log the parent’s name, child’s name, and assign a number to the pager that is then handed out to the parent. During service, parents are paged if the child re-mains upset or becomes ill, or based on instructions given by the parent. To send a page, using the transmitter keypad, the volunteer enters the pager number that was assigned to the parent at check-in, presses the ENTER key, and the page is sent. The parent’s pager vibrates and the LCD lights flash.
A ChildSecureTM feature continuously sends out a page to ensure that the parent responds to the notification, and is cleared once the pager is returned to the nursery. After the worship service, parents return their pager to the nursery, and pick up their child. In the case of the ESL program, parents are paged at the end of class, reminding them that it’s time for their child to be picked up.
According to Williams, “At first, older volunteers and some older members were negative about the new paging system, saying that they have never needed them in the past; they know everyone, etc. However, we just pressed forward with their use and they have come around. Both members and visitors love the new system.”
At WHBC, the pagers help to assure parents that the church places a high priority on the safety and needs of young children and their parents. Parents can be notified at the push of a button when there is an emergency regarding their child. “The pagers provide a certain level of comfort for visitors who leave a young child for the first time,” comments Williams.
Parents are able to enjoy the worship service, or class, with the peace of mind that they will be notified when needed. “We have had many visitors come back to our church because of the quality and safety of our children’s nursery; and the pagers have played a large part in instilling that feeling of safety,” notes Williams.
The previous method of using volunteers to notify parents during the worship service was an interruption to the service, as volunteers had to search for the parent. With the new nursery paging system, parents are alerted with a pager that flashes and quietly vibrates, and volunteers are no longer required to locate parents.
For WHBC, the instant notification that the paging system provides has resulted in ESL-parents being more timely in picking their kids up from the church nursery.
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