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 that 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 don’t speak the same language as their parents.
About five years ago, the church installed a radio frequency system for interpreting church services for English-speaking congregants at Walnut Street Baptist Church. The system never worked well and eventually stopped working altogether. That’s when Nilson Dimarzio Jr., a congregant, and volunteer at Walnut Street, contacted Listen Technologies.
After receiving the new ListenRF system on a Saturday, churchgoers urgently encouraged Nilson 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. Nilson quickly and easily installed the ListenRF system. He then gathered a few people that needed to understand how to use it and gave them simple instructions on how the system worked, and the next day the ListenRF system was used during Sunday services.
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.