Pastor Randy Bezet of Bayside Community Church in Bradenton, Florida, is using something straight out of Star Trek to preach to the church’s nine campuses simultaneously.
Bazet uses a new holographic technology called PROTO, a device that, according to its developer, “lets people beam themselves to a location thousands of miles away and interact with people there.”
The holographic technology allows Bezet to interact with those in the congregation, even though he’s not actually there. The PROTO Epic model has a camera on it, so the pastor can see the people he’s “beaming” to. Unlike a traditional live video stream, Bazet can actually hear sounds from the congregation.
“This really is, I think, putting me in nine locations at one time or has the potential to do that and make it much more personal than if it was just a video or kind of a flat-screen,” Bazet told Fox 13 News.
The hologram producing device can be operated with an iPad or cell phone and can be used to play pre-recorded videos as well. However, the tech doesn’t come cheap, starting at a hefty price tag of $100,000.
Bazet said, “We’ll do whatever we can to actually reach and impact as many people as we can, and, in this case, try a new technology like this.”
The church says that “whether it be through our high-energy weekend services, small groups, missions trips, youth services, counseling, or growth classes, Bayside believes in giving you the tools you need to gain a deeper relationship with God.”
Samuel Rodriguez, senior pastor of New Season Church in Sacramento, California, used similar technology to deliver a sermon on July 4, 2021 to a church in New Zealand. Rodriguez described the experience to CBN News as an “encounter between Star Trek and Christianity.”