Walnut Street Baptist Church is a small community church located in Newark, New Jersey with a congregation of about 300 members. The congregation is primarily Brazilian-born immigrants who speak Portuguese. The problem was, when the children and grandchildren of the largely Portuguese-speaking congregation wanted to attend services, they didn’t always understand what was being said from the pulpit. As with many immigrant communities in the United States, many US-born and raised descendants who attend the church don’t speak the same language as their parents.
About five years ago, congregant member Nilson Dimarzio Jr. installed a radio frequency system for translating church services for English-speaking congregants at the church. The system did not work well and eventually stopped working altogether. That’s when Nilson contacted Listen Technologies.
After receiving the new ListenRF system on a Saturday, churchgoers urgently encouraged Dimarzio to set up the system for Sunday services. They were very excited to use the equipment the next day to translate Sunday’s sermon to English. Dimarzio quickly and easily installed the ListenRF system, then gathered a few people that needed to understand how to use it and gave them simple instructions on how the system worked. The next day the ListenRF system was used during Sunday services.
“After trying a couple of different translation solutions, the ListenRF solution was definitely the right choice,” Dimarzio said. “It was simple to install, very easy to use for our congregation, and the sound quality was fantastic.”
Five patrons used the iDSP ListenRF receivers by wearing the small and sleek devices around their neck on a lanyard. They plugged headsets into the receivers and listened to the pastor deliver a passionate and inspiring sermon in Portuguese while receiving the English translation in their headsets.
Walnut Street parishioners love the new ListenRF 72 MHz system for its crystal-clear audio, the small and simple receivers, and the way it’s allowing them to connect with their family and community. The use of the system for translation means that grandparents, parents, and children can attend church services together in their community and all hear the same message – without language being a barrier to their connection.