Once you have decided on using chairs instead of pews for your congregation seating, it’s time to think about how to arrange your chairs. There are several different options for the layout, depending on the size and shape of your sanctuary.

The multiple-aisle arrangement is very popular in large, rectangular sanctuaries. This arrangement sets rows of chairs in large “blocks” with aisles separating the blocks. Rows should be set up with 14-16 chairs per row. Of course, the fewer chairs in a row, the more comfortable the congregation will be because there will be less distance to get to an aisle.

If there is only access to an aisle on one end of the row, the row should contain fewer seats – ideally half of what a dual-access row would have. For instance, if one side of the row is blocked by a wall, that person should be able to get to an aisle without having to bypass too many chairs. Fire codes and any other governing codes should be followed first.

A continental arrangement is a theater-style seating arrangement with longer rows, but more space between each row to allow easier movement between aisles and seats. It’s not uncommon for rows to form an arc with this seating arrangement. In many instances, this is a great way to utilize space for maximum seating, but again, governing codes should always be adhered to. This type of arrangement is found in many auditoriums and theaters and works well with theater seats, in which the seat of the chair automatically folds into an upright position when not being used, which allows even more room in the walkway when a seat is empty.

In church classrooms, the arrangement should be based on the style of teaching and the size and shape of the room. In a formal teaching environment, rectangular tables are often used with rows of chairs along the side that faces the teacher. Larger classrooms might have more of a lecture hall look, with rows of chairs and aisles. More informal classrooms might even incorporate round tables to encourage talk among students.

Fellowship halls are areas where meals and other gatherings take place. Because of this, banquet tables are a great choice for this area. Line both sides with banquet-style chairs, such as the Kingdom
Multi from Church Furniture Store. For more intimate gatherings, try using round tables and slightly wider, more thickly cushioned chairs, such as chairs from the Worship Stacker Series from Church Furniture Store.

When arranging your chairs in the church, whichever room you are designing, always remember the functionality of the layout and the comfort of your guests.

The Oxford Dictionary defines communion as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level”. The communion that was shared between Jesus and His disciples at the Last Supper was special on many levels. It was the last meal they would share together before Jesus was crucified. He instructed His disciples to partake of the bread and wine, which represents His body and blood that was shed for us, and to continue to do so in remembrance of Him. The Last Supper was the basis by which Christian churches today hold communion with fellow believers.

Today, many churches use something akin to bread or crackers and wine or juice to represent this first Holy Communion. Very often, a table referred to as a communion table holds these items for members of the church to consume. In some churches, communion ware is set on the communion table and is then passed down rows so that the congregation can take one piece of bread and a small cup. In other churches, the congregation forms a line and consumes one of each before sitting down. Whole loaves and large chalices might be available for everyone to share. Others might invite members to come to the table and partake in their own time, after ample reflection and meditation.

Wooden communion tables are still the most popular type of communion table utilized by churches. These might be very simple in appearance, or might have more lavish designs, according to the church décor.
The Chapel Communion Table, sold by Church Furniture Store, is constructed of oak wood in a simple, yet sturdy design. This model allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through and Jesus’ words, “…in remembrance of me” is the focal point. This handmade table retails at $599.

The Lion of Judah Communion Table is a very popular design by
Church Furniture Store. Hand-carved in the onsite woodshop, this piece makes a much bolder statement than the Chapel Communion Table. The retail price for this table is $1299.

All of the communion tables offered at Church Furniture Store are hand-made in their wood shop located in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Any stain in the Minwax family of stains can be used to complete your piece. Communion tables and other wood furniture created on site can be customized to your liking.

Church-goers are not usually motivated to choose a church home by the comfort of seating or the aesthetics of a sanctuary, but somewhere in the subconscious, these factors will play a role in their decision. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals, people look at friendliness, children’s ministry, sermons, and worship music when looking for a church to attend https://www.nae.net/what-people-look-for-in-churches/. In fact, comfort and aesthetics don’t make the list at all when it comes to most research in this area. But common sense tells us that if church-seekers find two equally promising churches, they will ultimately choose the one that is more physically comfortable and attractive to them.

Individual tastes can vary wildly, especially among various age groups and culturally different areas,
and this should be regarded when choosing furnishings for your church. But like most things, the popularity of an item might rise and fall in time – sometimes every few years, but other times over decades and even centuries. This is what we are seeing in many churches today. For decades, traditional pew seating was viewed as old and obsolete and the modern church chair has led in popularity. And although the church chair is extremely popular in churches today, we are seeing a great increase in the popularity of pews in many churches. Pews can be heavily padded in the seat area as well as the back area, and in many instances are reportedly more comfortable than church chairs with several inches of padding.

Interestingly, although pews have gained in popularity in recent years, the popularity of church chairs has not declined. Does this mean that more churches are starting or existing churches are growing in America? Recent research does not yet verify this, but it certainly makes sense that this is the case.

There are numerous types and styles of church chairs that exist on the market, from the extravagant to the simple. Chairs are available with arms, thick foam padding, under seat book racks with or without built-in communion cup holders, card pockets, pouches, and much more. Different churches look for different features in chairs, depending on their needs.

One factor to consider in seating trends for churches is the need for portability. Will there be events held that would warrant moving the seating around? In this case, chairs would likely be the better choice. But what type of chairs?

Chairs for churches are available in a multitude of shapes, sizes and styles from various manufacturers around the world, including theater seating for some larger, auditorium-style sanctuaries. Virtually any pattern and color is available if you are willing to pay the price.

There’s no doubt that chairs imported from China have been popular for several decades, but more and more churches are choosing to support American-made chairs to help keep business here. Church Furniture Store, a leading distributor of church chairs and manufacturer of church furniture, has announced that they will no longer stock imported chairs and will instead concentrate on offering chairs that are manufactured in America.

Whether your church chooses pews, chairs, or theater seating for your congregation, make sure to put your church’s needs first. If you can meet your church’s needs plus offer comfort while creating a great atmosphere for members and visitors, you have made the best choice for church seating.

A mix of contemporary and traditional is very popular in decorating around the world, so it’s no surprise that the combination is a favorite among church-goers. Although many traditional churches prefer the look of time-honored furnishings, a rising number of new churches and churches that are undergoing remodeling projects prefer to mingle both looks. That’s why the Exhorter set from Church Furniture Store is so popular among customers.

The Exhorter series is a sleek combination of solid oak wood and acrylic in a bold, yet simple style. Thick, straight legs connect to a large, tilted bible rest. Between the large, rectangular legs, a stately sheet of arched acrylic displays your personalized logo or an elegant image of three crosses. The base outlines the legs in a wider capacity and connects to the other side for superior stability.

The Exhorter Pulpit is available in three sizes. The 777, the smallest

of the three, measures 36 inches wide, 19 inches deep, 44 inches high and weighs 74 pounds. This model does not have side wings, as the two larger versions do, and is perfect for smaller pulpit areas or even classrooms and lecture halls. The 778 is the medium-sized Exhorter Pulpit and is 58 inches wide, 19 inches deep and 44 inches tall. The largest of the series, the 779, is an astonishing 7 feet wide, or 84 inches. Like the 777 and 778, it measures 19 inches deep and 44 inches high. This model weighs 167 pounds. All three versions are available in your choice of clear or smoked acrylic, including the side panels.

To complement your stylish Exhorter Pulpit, two sizes of communion tables are available. The 781
Exhorter Communion Table exhibits the phrase “Do In Remembrance of Me” on the acrylic center piece. This smaller model of the two measures 50 inches long, 18 inches deep and 32 inches tall. It weighs 79 pounds. The larger of the two communion tables is the 780, which is 70 inches long, 20 inches deep and 32 inches high. The 780 displays the inscription, “This Do In Remembrance of Me”, just as Jesus had instructed the disciples to join in communion. This model weighs 110 pounds.

Custom sizes are also available for all pieces in the Exhorter collection. For example, if you need a communion table that is larger than the 781 but smaller than the 780, a custom size can be created, such as a version that is 60 inches long. Additional shelves for more storage space, drawers, casters for easy mobility and custom shapes are possible. In addition to being customizable, the Exhorter series can be stained in any color available in the Minwax family of stains to ensure a great match with existing church furniture.

The pulpit is one of the most recognizable and identifiable pieces of church furniture within a sanctuary. The prominent reason for this association is its long history as the primary focus of the common church service. When most hear the word pulpit, a stand or lectern comes to mind that a pastor or speaker position themselves behind to deliver a message. A piece of furniture that allows a speaker to comfortably and efficiently read from their prepared notes and materials. At its earliest
origins the concept of a pulpit was simply a raised platform that an individual would stand on and speak to a congregation from. Without the ability of vocal amplification, an elevated platform was necessary to speak to large groups of people so everyone in attendance could hear.

Pulpit, lectern, and podium are often used to reference the same thing and can sometimes cause confusion in what they are representing. A podium and a traditional pulpit are nearly the same thing; the primary difference being that a pulpit is specific to the Christian church. The podium and the original pulpit are what we would consider to be a stage in modern terms. An elevated platform with a step or multiple steps leading up to it for better audio and visual connection with a gathering of people. In earlier forms, and still practiced among certain denominations within Christianity today, the pulpit was reserved for clergy only. While a podium was simply a stage for a speaker, a pulpit was a stage for clergy to speak or read Scripture from. In contrast with the pulpit and podium, the lectern is a stand specifically designed for reading from. The word “lectern” finds its origins in the same Latin root words as “lecture” does, revealing the purpose of the stand. Lecterns are most commonly associated with academia.

The rise in Protestantism marked the evolution of the pulpit into the piece of church furniture we visualize it to be today. Some of the earliest Protestant churches developed pulpit tiers, varying heights of platform that represented the level of importance of the message being delivered from them. The lowest tier might be used for announcements while the highest tier for delivering the
sermon or for Scripture reading. The pulpit developed into a furniture piece that not only served a practical purpose in delivering public messages, but also became a representation of the importance of the messages being delivered.

The modern pulpit is a blend of a lectern and a podium; a stand for teaching that sits on a stage for better connection with a congregation. But above that, and what defines it as a pulpit, is what it represents. It represents historically, and for today, the gift of God’s Word that was given to us and the privilege we have to hear it taught and proclaimed in churches across the world on a consistent basis. Whether it is a traditionally styled wood pulpit or a contemporary acrylic pulpit with a cutting edge church logo, the pulpit should be a reminder to us of the importance of the Scripture and the proclamation of the Gospel to ever increasing congregations. 

Church Furniture Store, located in Rocky Mount, Virginia, has offered their Worship chair, Victory chair, Freedom chair and Multi chair to the public for many years. While other styles of chairs have also been available, these four chairs were the most popular due to their low cost. CFS was able to offer those chairs to the public – primarily churches – at a low price because they were imported from China, and for many churches on a budget, this moderate-quality seating suited their needs.

But when President Trump announced the tariffs that would be implemented on imported goods from China, CFS knew it was time to make the change that had been a goal for many years – to offer American-made and North American-made chairs instead of the imported chairs.

Many companies have offered products imported from China as a low-cost option for customers. But Americans have routinely requested products that are made here in America in an effort to support American industry. With the new tariffs, many Chinese products are now comparable to the cost of American-made products, so it just makes sense to offer more goods that are made in our country.

Lead times for many of the imported chairs were more than two months, but with chairs manufactured close to home, many chair orders can be delivered in as little as four weeks. Additionally, the American-made chairs, named the Worship Stacker I, II, and III, are much more customizable, with many value add-ons that were not available before. The Worship Stacker chairs have 48 stock colors to choose from at no extra charge, making it easier to match existing color schemes. Thicker cushions and a memory foam option mean that the congregation will be much more comfortable – a trait that many people look for in a church.

CFS will also be offering chairs that are assembled in Mexico, but contain all American-made components. These chairs have a slightly lower price than the chairs manufactured in America.

Church Furniture Store offers much more than chairs for churches. Founded in 1991, Church Furniture Store is known locally and nationally for the quality craftsmanship of wood furniture produced in its on-site wood shop. Seasoned wood workers hand craft both traditional and modern pieces, such as pulpit-area furniture and custom furnishings. In addition to wood furniture made on site, the company offers a complete array of necessities for churches, including seating, classroom furniture, baptisteries and baptistery heaters, carpet, stained glass, and even steeples – all manufactured in the USA or North America.

Choosing a heating option for your church’s baptistery can be confusing and time consuming. Here, we will look at several popular options to fulfill your church’s needs and help explain which type is more suitable for your baptistery.

One of the first things you will notice while shopping for a baptistery heater is that different voltages are available within certain models. Please note that 120 volt heaters are only made for small baptisteries that hold 100-200 gallons. Please make sure that you are familiar with the number of gallons you are attempting to heat.

Another very important factor to note is that GFCI is necessary whenever electricity is used with baptistery heaters. If the heater you purchase does not include a built-in GFCI, make sure that it is plugged into a GFCI outlet. A ground fault circuit interrupter is vital in ensuring your church members’ safety.

A classic and standard in the baptistery heater market is a basic circulation heater that is permanently affixed to the side of the baptistery. An 11.5kw model will raise the temperature 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 750-gallon pool at a rate of about 115 gallons per hour. Water is imported through the lower inlet assembly, heated, and then exported through the upper outlet assembly. This type of heater is likely available with an adjustable thermostat and circulation kit and should always be professionally installed. A 6kw model of this type of heater will usually heat 100 gallons per hour to a 20 degree Fahrenheit rise in a 500-gallon baptistery, meaning it will take approximately 5 hours to heat a 500-gallon pool from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. Similar models are also available that can be installed and controlled away from the baptistery.

Immersion heaters are becoming more and more popular because a professional installation is not required and because they are portable and easy to handle. You might be familiar with the basic immersion heater that sets in the bottom of the pool. This model is usually a 120-volt model that is only meant to heat very small amounts of water – typically up to 150 gallons. But the portability of the model and the convenient set up makes this one a favorite for those looking to heat a small baptistery. This model is also used on many farms during winter months to prevent watering troughs from freezing.

Immersion heaters that are held to the side of the pool with a bracket can also be instrumental for the church that does not want a permanent heating fixture. This type of heater might be available in both 120 volt and 240 volt, with or without GFCI. A 120-volt model will typically heat up to 200 gallons in 5-8 hours at a rate of 25 gallons per hour for a 30 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise. A 240-volt model will typically heat a 750-gallon baptistery in 9-11 hours at a rate of 90 gallons per hour for a 30 degree Fahrenheit rise.

With so many options available, there is a baptistery heater that will work well for heating your baptistery. Remember that ambient room temperature will affect rates of heating. You might also want to consider a baptistery spa-style cover to help keep heat in your pool.

Many contemporary churches are adopting a style of minimalism in the stage area, where the podium or pulpit is placed. Sometimes a water table or flower table or two can be seen in direct proximity to the podium, and possibly a communion table, but usually not much more. In less contemporary churches that follow a traditional look, the full pulpit furniture series is usually found, which might

include 5 or more pieces.

The pulpit that a church chooses for their sanctuary literally sets the stage for the entire room and will help determine the other pieces – if any – that are used in conjunction in the pulpit area. The pulpit is the focal point, and might be simple and elegant or bold and detailed. Pulpits come in a wide variety of styles and can usually be customized to your liking if manufactured on site.

Communion Table
The communion table is traditionally set directly in front of the pulpit and is used for placing communion ware for occasions in which the church partakes of communion. The frequency that a church takes communion might dictate whether or not a communion table is used at all in the pulpit area. Communion tables usually closely match the pulpit, mirroring the same style, details, and stain.

Offering Table
Offering plates are placed on the offering table until time to collect offering during the worship service. Some churches choose to set the offering table in front of the pulpit or sometimes even in front of the communion table, especially when the pulpit area is set on multi-height tiers. You might also find the offering table set to the side, but still generally within the pulpit area. Like the communion table, the offering table is usually made to match the design of the pulpit.

Minister’s Chairs
In more traditional churches, the Pastor and members of the clergy might sit in chairs that are set up behind the pulpit. Sometimes you will see a chair that is slightly taller than the others, which is often placed in between clergy chairs. This chair is reserved for the Pastor. If wood chairs are used, they are generally made to fit the style of the other pulpit furniture. Minister’s chairs and clergy chairs that are upholstered might use a fabric that coordinates with any seating used for the congregation.

Side Tables
Side tables can be used to hold all kinds of items - things that will be used during a worship service or decorative items. Flower tables and water tables might be placed directly beside the pulpit or communion table, beside minister’s chairs or might be placed at the far corners of the pulpit area.

There are no rules for how your church should place furniture in the sanctuary, but be sure that it is set up to complement the worship service and that all potential needs are met. Of course church members want to see an aesthetically pleasing sanctuary, but the main goal is to glorify God and to have a space to worship.

Communion is an essential and fundamental part of Christianity and Christian church services. The word “communion” means “an act or instance of sharing” and “a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ’s death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ,” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). The concept of communion has several reference points in the Bible such as Matthew 26:26-28:

While they were eating, Jesus took break, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

And John 6:53-58:

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

The practice of communion during congregational gatherings has occurred in church services since the beginning of the New Testament church and it continues on today. The idea of a communion table has existed for equally as long, deriving from Christ and his disciples breaking bread together around one. Because of large gatherings in church settings, surrounding a table together can be difficult. The communion table, however, is still used as symbolism of the original table of fellowship for the
believers when the communion elements are placed on it. Many communion tables today expand the symbolism by inscribing the verse “…do this in remembrance of Me,” from Luke 22.

A variety of communion tables are crafted today in an assortment of styles to assist churches in this sacred Christian practice. Open style communion tables are a traditional style with an open air center and legs that extend to a table base or to the floor. Many feature an acrylic accent piece with the Scripture verse from Luke 22. Closed communion tables are an enclosed box table, typically with
swinging or sliding rear doors and inner shelving for storage of communion elements. Many of these also include a lock and key for keeping those elements secure between services. Churches that rent buildings or use sanctuary areas for different purposes may utilize a folding table or lightweight table and cover it with a table cloth.

Regardless of the style of communion table you choose for your church home, whether aesthetically pleasing or chosen based wholly on function, the act of communion remains the same and will continue to be a foundation element of church services until Christ returns.

The exact origin of stained glass is not known, but we do know that the earliest stained glass window that is still intact is from St. Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, England and dates back to approximately 680 AD. But evidence shows that ancient Egyptians and Romans also likely created stained glass.

The Egyptian village of Qantir shows evidence of an ancient glass-making factory. Ancient Egyptian materials that were uncovered show that these artisans would combine crushed quartz with the remains of burned plants. This was then heated in clay jars, ground into a powder, and then combined with chemicals to produce a red or blue color.

In the Medieval Period in Europe, stained glass window-making began to flourish and peaked during the Gothic Period. This trend remained strong across the countries of Europe well into the Renaissance Period, before its popularity began to decline.

During this period in America, stained glass was in its infancy. Glass-making was the first American industry, founded in 1608 in Jamestown, Virginia. However, early Christians in America would meet in houses instead of new church buildings to worship and any new church buildings were usually adorned with shutters instead of windows.

Evert Duyckingh opened a glass-window business in New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) in 1637 or 1638. One of his specialties was creating family coats of arms in windows. He eventually hired an apprentice named Cornelius Jansen who is on record requesting payment from a church in 1656 that had purchased his glass windows.

In 1654, Jan Smeedes had a glass business in Manhattan that began manufacturing roundels. A roundel is a circular glass window that often contains emblems. Several centuries passed before William Gibson opened a glass manufacturing operation in 1834 in New York City. This first attempt was not successful, but Gibson attempted the business once more later in the 19th century, during which he proclaimed himself to be the “father of glass painting”. It was at this time that Harry Horwood began to work for Gibson.

Horwood worked for Gibson during the 1870s and it was during this time that he restored the stained glass windows at the famous Vanderbilt Mansion in New York City. Shortly after, in 1876, he opened his own stained glass business in Ottawa. He eventually opened a second office in New York City, when he created the stained glass for the Ogdensburg Opera House in Ogdensburg, New York.

Robert Bolton came to New York from England and created the first known American-made figural window in 1843 for the Nativity for Christ Church in Pelham, New York. He returned to England and opened a stained-glass business. His brother, John, also made stained glass in America.

The trade was slow to get off the ground in the U.S. and struggled until the end of the 19th century. In 1880, John LaFarge, a famous American muralist, invented opalescent stained glass windows. He and Louis Tiffany, whose family started the famous Tiffany and Company, fought over who was the true inventor. Information on the subject is inconclusive, but apparently, both claim to be the first to utilize opalescent sheets in windows. Tiffany went on to start the Tiffany Glass Company, which produced thousands of windows. LaFarge and Tiffany also utilized the confetti, drapery, and ridged styles in stained glass windows.

Other major artists came onto the scene creating stained glass and incorporating it into larger projects. Well-known architect and interior designer, Frank Lloyd Wright, was also a creator of stained glass windows and used them in many of his major projects, including Robie House in Chicago.

Gothic-style stained glass windows were now gaining popularity in America and in Europe, renewing the styles from the Medieval Period. Stained glass in multiple styles was being seen across the country in several different church denominations. This revived interest ran strong until the depression hit in the 1930s and 1940s.

Today, stained glass is gaining in popularity again and is offered in many different styles. Options and looks are seemingly endless, especially when the manufacturer takes on custom orders. Stained glass is being incorporated into residential décor, businesses and churches across the country.