Church pulpits are the focal point of a sanctuary or worship center as preachers utilize this valuable tool in bringing God's message to the congregation. When folks arrive on Sunday morning, they take their seat and fix their eyes upon the this dominant marker. Because a church pulpit can become a focal point on the stage or platform, congregational committees take care in selecting one that will not draw attention from the speaker or preacher but will serve as a beautiful reminder that the World of God is present on the stage. "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." (Psalm 22:22)
This unique piece of furniture is associated with a specific church purpose, and not just any old podium. Church pulpits are often used interchangeably with a lectern and podium. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary tells us that a lectern is a stand used to support a book in convenient position for a standing reader. A podium is simply defined as a raised podium, particularly for an orchestral conductor. A pulpit, on the other hand, is an elevated platform or high reading desk that is used in preaching or conducting a worship service, specifically a piece that supports the Word of God, our Bible.
Though lecterns and podiums do resemble this distinct piece used in churches alone, they tend to be smaller in size and less ornate. Unlike lecterns and podiums, many a church pulpit display a cross or another Christian symbol on the front. Certain congregations even choose to have their symbol, logo, or name engraved on or carved into this high profile piece.
Some of the newer or more contemporary churches have made the transition from the traditional wooden piece to the acrylic or Plexiglas pulpit. Such church pulpits are chosen because they are thought to be less of a distraction to the congregation since they are somewhat transparent and can make the stage appear larger. Ministers choose these selections so that they feel there is less of a barrier between themselves and their church members.
Although there has been an increase in demand for pieces that are acrylic, Plexiglas, or even granite, the majority of today's churches still prefer the time-honored wooden model. A wooden church pulpit may be custom made from multiple types of wood and stained to match the furniture and woodwork that is displayed in the sanctuary. Designing one that exhibits a combination of woods and stains often becomes a beautifully decorative and unique work of art. Colonial models utilize this contrast of color by accenting a white background with deep cherry or mahogany details.
As with any piece of furniture, the price will vary depending on the style and the size. Wooden pieces may cost anywhere between $1000.00 and $5000.00. Acrylic models are less expensive and may run between $500.00 and $2000.00. Those investigating and considering purchasing a church pulpit might want to begin browsing the companies that offer church pulpits online. There are many different manufacturers listed and this is a good place to get an idea on prices and sizes. Also, be sure and check out any used furniture sites, often churches that have closed or have moved will offer used goods through these broker sites.