Many members of Green Chapel are related, so it was easy for them to keep in touch, although Austin said he lived 90 miles from Auburn and was unable to physically meet the members of the congregation as often.
Austin said his church was already brought online in March 2020 as the pandemic began to impact daily life in the United States and did not return to in-person services until July 2021. This prompted Austin and other church leaders to push for better live broadcasting capabilities.
In November, Green Chapel applied to the Lee County Commission for funding to fund upgrades to its streaming hardware and internet connection, to which Austin said the church was eligible with the money. from the US county bailout to local nonprofits like churches.
“To have legitimate social media streaming capability it starts with your internet access and we contracted with Spectrum to lay fiber optic lines to our church under a 30+ deal. $ 000 over five years, ”Austin said. “Then we can build a website with hardware and software to accommodate large-scale, live, real-time feeds. But it is an expensive endeavor.
Austin predicts the total cost of creating a viable long-term online platform for Green Chapel will be between $ 160,000 and $ 180,000 after paying for fiber optic lines, purchasing professional camera equipment capable to register live services and bought multiple MacBooks.