The United States of StageDrop is a series highlighting customer success stories from a different state each week. Our first United States of StageDrop feature starts at the beginning of the alphabet, with the great state of Alabama!

Founded in 1901, the New Bethlehem Baptist Church (NBBC) has a long history serving its community as a "mission minded, soul winning church, for Jesus Christ." Located in Bessemer, Alabama - a southwest suburb of Birmingham known as the "Marvel City" - NBBC provides numerous vital ministries to the surrounding area, including weekly bible study, membership classes, youth outreach, sisterhood/brotherhood fellowship, sack lunches for the homeless, a van ministry, a get-it-done ministry and spiritual retreats.

"We are a mission minded, soul winning church, for Jesus Christ."
NBBC Mission Statement

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020 and case numbers began to rise, Gov. Ivey instituted a Safer at Home order that included a ban on non-work indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, including indoor worship services. NBBC would have to find a different way to gather its flock for worship.

Maintaining Safety in the Face of Coronavirus

After much prayerful consideration, NBBC Pastor T. Jefferson Rogers Jr. devised a plan for alternative ways to assemble the congregation, with the safety of his members a top priority.

"I watch and care about your souls! And, I also want you to know, I’m concerned for your safety. The Coronavirus is impacting individuals, in all areas of life. Therefore, we will take every precautionary action possible to maintain a safe environment, by implementing the following, to combat the Coronavirus," he said in a press release to the congregation.

Pastor Rogers's plan included broadcasting a Livestream of weekly Sunday school, worship services and Bible studies, as well as a monthly "Praise in the Parking Lot" drive-in worship service. "Every 1st Sunday there will be Parking Lot Service so that we can assemble and worship as we maintain the recommended Social Distancing as described in the CDC guidelines," he continued. "We will use wisdom, but we will not be ruled by fear."

"We will use wisdom, but we will not be ruled by fear."
Pastor T. Jefferson Rogers Jr.

NBBC's first "Praise in the Parking Lot" filled the church parking lot to capacity that first Sunday in May. Pastor Rogers preached from a platform out front of the church, with the praise team a short distance to the side, and churchgoers in the parking lot could listen to the service on the radio in the comfort of their cars. In spite of the pandemic, this church family had found a way to come together - safely distanced in their cars - to worship.

A Durable & Affordable Outdoor Stage Solution

When NBBC decided to purchase a new stage system for their drive-in worship services, they turned to StageDrop for a durable and affordable outdoor portable staging solution, choosing the TotalPackage 8'x16' Dual Height Portable Stage Kit, featuring water-resistant 4'x4' portable stage panels that can be set at 24" or 32" tall. The stage can easily be set up by one person, and each stage panel has wheels for easier positioning.

The TotalPackage also includes stairs with handrails, stage skirting and a storage cart, all at discounted package pricing. The church customized the stage skirt to be a vibrant royal blue to match the church's decor, at no extra charge. A week and a half later, the complete stage kit was delivered, in time for their next outdoor service.

8x16 Portable Stage
Staging 101 Stage Stairs
StageWrap Flat Stage Skirt
StageWrap Flat Stage Skirt

NBBC debuted their new outdoor worship stage at their next Praise in the Parking Lot worship service to a once again packed parking lot. The result was an elegant and professional stage setup that elevates the pastor to see and be seen from the multitude of churchgoers' cars attending each service. The beautiful royal blue skirting combined with floral and fern decor added an elegant finishing touch.

"But, as for now, let's have church, and give the Lord our praise!"
Pastor T. Jefferson Rogers Jr.

NBBC has used their new outdoor worship stage several times since and, pleased with the stage's performance, placed a second order for additional stage panels. Several more parking lot events are planned for the summer, and the church continues to successfully fulfill its mission-minded calling in this new era of social distancing.

StageDrop would like to thank the New Bethlehem Baptist Church for their patronage and for allowing us to highlight their story, representing Alabama in this week's United States of StageDrop. We wish them good health and Godspeed in their endeavors!

Looking for a stage solution for your worship services? Check out our selection of Outdoor Worship Stages, or call or email us today for a free quote!

Based at the Jersey Shore in Forked River, NJ, StageDrop LLC is a leading provider of stock and custom portable stage systems, stage accessories, truss and event furniture to businesses and consumers nationwide. We specialize in delivering custom stage configurations for business, government, education, religious, fitness and nonprofit organizations. We offer free quotes with expert recommendations to fit our customers' specialized needs.

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