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The Salvation Army Camp Walter Johnson Faith Chapel

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The Salvation Army Camp Walter Johnson Faith Chapel
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LED Video Walls Enhance Worship at The Salvation Army Camp Walter Johnson Faith Chapel

Opened in 1974, the Salvation Army’s Camp Walter Johnson is a 250-acre facility in Denton, North Carolina that provides a residential camp and meeting venue for Salvation Army youth conferences, territorial event conferences and summer camp programs for younger people. As an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church, the Salvation Army emphasizes spiritual growth, and at Camp Walter Johnson, guests have a place of a worship at Faith Chapel.

Traditionally, the chapel relied on rear projection display technology to support its worship services, but with deteriorating image quality and continual viewing constraints, upgrading the projection system became increasingly important. In considering a replacement technology, Divisional Youth Secretary and Camp Walter Johnson Director Captain Jimmy Parrish was principally interested in a display solution, having previously experienced the benefit of digital displays in a worship setting.

“It was clear that display technology enhanced all aspects of worship,” Captain Parrish said. “When discussing different options, we prioritized screen visualization and being able to maximize viewing angles in the chapel. That eventually led us to LED video walls.”

With the help of AV system designer Strategic Connections, the decision was made to integrate two 10-foot-long, 5.5-foot-high Planar® TVF Series LED video walls with a 1.8mm pixel pitch (TVF1.8) in 5x5 configurations from Planar. 

The Planar TVF Series is a family of fine pitch LED video wall displays with a 16:9 aspect ratio that allows every pixel pitch to exactly achieve popular resolutions including Full HD and 4K. Featuring front serviceability and a creative stackable design, the Planar TVF Series eliminates cabinet-to-cabinet cabling and reduces the complexity of installation and vertical alignment. With a profile of less than three inches, the Planar TVF Series reduces the overall video wall footprint and servicing space that is required and is easier to fit in more spaces compared to other LED video wall solutions.

Video Wall Calculator informs decision-making

Earlier in the planning phase, after Captain Parrish and Strategic Connections had settled on LED display technology, Strategic Connections Sales Support Engineer Adam Gordon worked with Planar representatives and used their Video Wall Calculator to determine the best fitting solution, a process which landed on a 1.8mm pixel pitch Planar TVF Series LED video wall . The easy-to-use Video Wall Calculator simplifies the video wall selection process by enabling users to configure video walls and preview and download the results—complete with specification data, installation diagrams and custom renderings.

“By working with the online tool and uploading onsite measurements and a background picture of the chapel interior, I was able to build a video wall to scale and see exactly how it would fit into the space,” Gordon said. “The rendering allowed the Salvation Army to visualize the installation, which was key for getting them behind the project. Captain Parrish could see the brightness, clarity and ‘wow factor’ of the video walls in the design.”

Supporting a successful integration

With a tight deadline to meet and being the first Planar TVF Series LED video wall that they specified for a project, Strategic Connections sought Planar’s help with the installation. “Planar technicians came onsite and got the video walls quickly installed and tested,” Gordon said. “We were quite impressed with how video walls of that size could be built so efficiently. The design of the Planar TVF Series easily assembled into the space—we didn’t have to do any major reconstruction.”

Strategic Connections was equally impressed with the result. “The displays are bright and crystal clear. Compared with the projectors, the difference is night and day,” Gordon said.

“From the operation control side, the Planar TVF Series is by far the most responsive display I’ve seen,” said Strategic Connections Engineer Tyler McCorquodale. “The product works flawlessly.”

Ahead of the installation, Strategic Connections sent lead technician Ryan Harmon to Planar’s Washington D.C. showroom where he attended a Planar TVF Series certified installer training course. Afterwards, he returned to North Carolina to observe Planar technicians install the Planar TVF Series LED video walls at Camp Walter Johnson’s Faith Chapel. “Following the training and Planar’s guidance, Harmon feels confident that with his leadership, our team can install a Planar TVF Series video wall on our own with the next project,” Gordon said. “We’re comfortable with the process and we would love to do many of these installations.”

Capturing the intimacy of worship

Emphasizing the visual aspects of worship with stunning LED imagery and sharp lyrics can help inspire participation, fostering more meaningful experiences. In the same spirit, Captain Parrish has observed related benefits from using the Planar TVF Series LED video walls in Faith Chapel services.

“For other pastors and I, there can be a disconnect between us and people sitting in the back during a service—they can’t see the animation or the passion in our face,” Caption Parrish said. “Using the new displays with live feeds helps overcome that distance. The brightness and clarity of the LED video walls allows everybody in the chapel to see and feel the speaker’s facial expressions, which makes for a stronger message.”