MBC launches new broadcast studio
Facility marks new era in way MBC ministers
By Allen Palmeri
September 6, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY– Turn your radio on, Missouri Baptists.
The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) has a new delivery vehicle for the proclamation of the Gospel and a Christian worldview with the creation of an in-house production studio suitable for radio broadcasts, DVDs, CDs, and streaming audio and video programs on the convention’s Internet site.
History of sorts was made when the new studio became operational Aug. 29 as Don Hinkle, editor, The Pathway, began taping daily commentaries to air on all seven Bott Radio Network stations throughout Missouri. The studio is also being used to produce and edit the annual convention report video that will be shown to messengers attending the MBC’s annual meeting at Second Baptist Church, Springfield, Oct. 24-26. Additional technology and remodeling of the studio will continue in coming months with completion set for early January.
“God has given the MBC yet another vehicle that, combined with our print and Internet ministries, gives us a statewide communications apparatus second to none,” Hinkle said. “Our new broadcast studio along with the Internet gives us an unprecedented ability to share the Gospel with more people and nearly instantaneously communicate news, promote convention activities and disseminate other information to Missouri Southern Baptists statewide. May we use it effectively to the glory of God.”
Presently, on one side of the new studio in the ground floor of the Baptist Building is the radio room, complete with control panel and the latest high-tech microphone. On the other side of a glass wall will be the video room, which also will be used for still photography.
Strategically, it will help the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) reduce costs incurred by outsourcing and connect better with its churches, according to Dave Ellis, technology group leader of the MBC’s Communications and Development team.
“We want to accurately portray the heart of the Missouri Baptist Convention to the churches in the convention, in the state, in a cost-effective way, with quality and class,” Ellis said.
When Ellis came on staff a year ago, he began trying to implement MBC Executive Director David Clippard’s vision of reaching into the pew, grabbing a person’s heart and pulling them into action. A media studio gives the MBC the potential to do just that, with the latest in audio and video technologies available.
Ways to promote The Pathway and other MBC ministries through video and audio are being explored. Ideas ranging from producing a syndicated talk show to news and Bible teaching programs are among many being pondered. As communications strategies progress from the dream stage into reality, the MBC Web site is going to be right in the middle of the mix, Ellis said.
“When you read and digest some of the things that are out on the Internet, with regard to the web logs that are out, these are people just speaking their heart and putting it out there for people to read,” Ellis said. “They’re not skewed to the point where you don’t know for sure what’s being portrayed. You pretty much get a feel for that person’s agenda, their worldview, pretty quickly. It’s not hidden. It’s just out there.
“There’s been a lot of stuff in the news lately about how web logs have been huge in the ways they’ve reported and brought to light areas that were just passed over. We could easily on our Web site put a media log or a web log where people would have the opportunity to write in.”
Chris Rhodes came on board in July as MBC media technician. His role is to be the hub of the new media studio, including serving as producer on Hinkle’s Bott Radio commentaries. In time, he could evolve into the MBC’s media point man for audio, visual and photo work, Ellis said.
“He’s got the skills, he’s got the abilities, he’s got a great work ethic and he loves the Lord,” Ellis said.
Rhodes, 21, is excited about the “endless” potential the MBC has to grow in media.
“We can produce videos that can be streamed on the Internet,” he said. “Basically, within 10 minutes of actually shooting it, it can be on the Web. We also are able to record straight to hard drive or DVD, then compress it to MPEG files. Everything is just going to be so fast.”
A back wall of the video room will be painted chroma-key green, Ellis said, which can be filtered out completely to facilitate a more creative type of videography where the subject, through different backdrops, can be made to appear in a variety of settings.
“We can have our subject on camera and then put him on a background of a map of Iraq or Colorado,” Ellis said. “We could put a missions deal with a map behind us and point to those things with a monitor off to the side and do a real professional production, similar to a newscast.”