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Clear-Com’s Arcadia is just right for River Oak Church

Clear-Com’s Arcadia is just right for River Oak Church

Clear-Com’s Arcadia is just right for River Oak Church


Originally formed as part of another church around 20 years ago, River Oak Church broke ground in 2020 with a new, purpose-built facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, to house its growing ministry. When Justin Fugett was set the task of bringing River Oak Church’s new facility to life in 2021, he understood the importance of the intercom system from his experience as a freelancer working with local broadcast organisations and universities.

River Oak Church had an Encore Partyline system, and while Fugett knew the church didn’t need horsepower of a matrix-based system, it did need more than a simple partyline system in order to grow its productions. River Oak was looking into getting wireless beltpacks to add to its system. The timing was fortuitous, as this is just when Fugett was starting to hear about Clear-Com’s new Arcadia Central Station. Combining support for the industry standard digital wireless FreeSpeak II system, as well as integrating HelixNet Digital Partyline, 2W / 4W connections, and Dante, Fugett realised that Arcadia was a good fit for River Oak Church.

“Honestly, I feel like every church needs to know about Arcadia – it’s the absolute perfect fit for so many church applications. It has the flexibility and connections that we need, without the complexity of a matrix-based system. For an organization that gets a lot of their staffing from volunteers or part-time staff, Arcadia is an ideal combination of power, flexibility, and ease-of-use,” commented Fugett.

“I fell in love with FreeSpeak II during my time at Regent University, and now with HelixNet in the same box, it’s been really awesome,” said Fugett. “I love that I’m not stuck with the limitations of physical wire runs – with a network port I can put anyone on a HelixNet endpoint, wherever they need to be. And the camera people are now on HelixNet, which allows them to have a program feed in their ear, which they really appreciate.”

Another game-changer is Arcadia’s ability to interface with third-party Dante devices. With Arcadia on the Dante network, it is able to send or receive any feed within the audio network. He said: “During baptisms, the mics have been known to get wet which can lead to bad or no audio for the sanctuary. The booth producer can now listen to the individual microphones directly from a wireless FreeSpeak beltpack, which has actually saved us on multiple occasions.”

The intercom system also includes the Clear-Com Encore analogue partyline system, mostly used backstage, and there are future plans to bring in FreeSpeak Edge to augment the system. “Several of us are able to easily make changes to roles at any time during services or rehearsals to suit each user’s needs”, said Fugett.

For River Oak Church’s growing congregation and evolving production goals, Arcadia offers a lot of possibilities for the future. “I’m intrigued by what features will be coming down the path for Arcadia moving forward,” commented Fugett. “HelixNet opened up a whole new world, and we’re excited by what the future will bring. Arcadia is just such a powerful and flexible platform, making it an obvious choice for River Oak Church and I think a lot of other churches as well.”

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