Idlewild Baptist Church

  • Lutz, Flordia
    440,000 SF
    Beck – Construction
    STH Architectural Group – Architect

Idlewild Baptist Church is one of Florida’s largest worship centers with a sanctuary that holds over 5,000 people, including a 210-voice choir and a 75-piece orchestra. With a clear span of 270 feet, Idlewild’s sanctuary could hold Air Force One. The welcoming center includes a lobby, bookstore (with a roof also serving as a stage) and café. This central gathering place, the Gatheria, brings the outdoors, indoors with 25-foot freeze-dried, preserved palm trees that enhance and add warmth to the large open space. A children’s building and adult/youth building provide classrooms, meeting halls and member services. The large staff works with first-class acoustics, eight catwalks, two massive high-definition rear projection screens and countless speakers and lights to create theater-like productions. As one member remarked, “We can dim the lighting in the balcony and the terraces and force lighting onto the floor” and make even this $73 million mega-church “feel small.”