Michael Janetis and his wife, Jaime, were worship pastors for 20 years before moving to Destin, Florida in 2018 and founding Oceans Church a year later. When they first arrived, they explored pursuing a set up and teardown church but couldn’t find the right location. Eventually they secured a building to lease and performed a full renovation, providing a permanent location to grow with. “It gave us the opportunity to create the kind of environment we wanted in a church,” said Michael Janetis.
That environment included a display solution to highlight content and encourage more participation among the audience during services. For their first display, they pieced together nine 55-inch LCD displays (from a non-Planar vendor) to create a 12-foot-wide by 7-foot-high display installation. “The ongoing problem with that solution was the thick bezels framing each screen,” Janetis said. “If we didn’t create our content properly, parts of the text could get obscured. Everything required graphic design work to ensure it would fit within the grid. It served us well for starting the church, but the end goal was to upgrade to LED technology.”
In the meantime, the congregation continued to grow and Oceans Church went from one Sunday service to two and then to three. Understanding the benefits of what an LED video wall could bring, Janetis began exploring solutions and got connected to Planar. This eventually led to the installation of a nearly 16-foot-wide, 9-foot-high (8x8) Planar® MGP Complete™ 217-inch LED video wall with a 2.5mm pixel pitch (MGP2.5).
Upon adding the Planar LED video wall directly behind their stage, Janetis immediately began noticing beneficial changes across different facets of their service. “Seamless, high-quality imagery and video can really enhance the worship experience,” Janetis said. “You can be leading worship in front of beautiful drone footage of a mountain range and just feel the room’s energy come alive.”
Oceans Church has a music production program with a full live worship band. The LED video wall provides a vibrant canvass for displaying dynamic visuals and videos that work to complement the music. According to Janetis, a backdrop of motion graphics helps build a stronger connection with the audience during songs.
The church is also beginning to incorporate content with seasonal themes. “Heading into December it will be snow and holiday themes on the video wall to help emphasize the message of Christmas and remind people of the meaning behind it,” Janetis said.
Another important benefit relates to the church’s online presence. “Your live stream is now truly the front door of your church,” Janetis emphasized. “Generally, most people are going to check out your live stream if you have one before paying a visit in person. For us, the LED display has really boosted the quality of our live stream.”
And, as a versatile technology, the Planar MGP Complete LED video wall provides the church with a variety of uses for promoting fellowship among the congregation. “We are super excited about using the video wall for movie nights and other events which gives young families the opportunity to come together,” Janetis said. “I know we will be hosting a Super Bowl party and the guys are really excited about that. It’s a great resource for creating a sense of community.”
Amplifying the Power of Stories
Harnessing the immersive quality of the LED video wall, Janetis plans to start a project that will involve presenting people’s stories on the LED video wall in special screenings for the congregation. The goal is to foster meaningful connections through storytelling with the LED display acting as a compelling medium to engage viewers.
“We will be capturing the testimonies from different people discussing their life changes since coming to Christ,” Janetis said. “When those stories are shown on the large screen, the message will undoubtedly come across much stronger. The quality and impressive image clarity of the LED video wall can really help to focus attention and draw people into the moment. And those moments can be moving and powerful they can inspire hope.”