We’ll Save a Seat for You
The story of Grace Life Church began on February 23, 2020, in Mayfield, Kentucky. The brand-new church had barely settled into their building when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. “By the third week, I was speaking on top of an RV in the middle of a parking lot, with people sitting in their vehicles and listening by FM transmitter,” said Lead Pastor Chad Lamb. Despite the difficulties of building a new congregation while social distancing, they found creative ways to teach and support each other, and the church experienced growth.
The pandemic had only slightly eased up when a new obstacle hit: a record-breaking, 160-mile-long, EF-4 tornado plowed through Western Kentucky, leveling much of Mayfield. It was the deadliest tornado in Kentucky’s history, claiming over 70 lives throughout the state and causing $350 million in damage. “So not only did we face three rounds of COVID-19 in our first two years,” said Pastor Chad Lamb, “but we also faced a severe tornado that devastated our community in 2021.” Grace Life Church was one of several churches destroyed by the tornado, which ravaged the main street and historical parts of town.
Finding the Answers Through a Bertolini Partnership
After the old building was deemed unsalvageable and cleanup of the town was underway, the congregation began meeting in a nearby technology center while Pastor Chad looked for a new church building. Few buildings were available, and none seemed quite right for his congregation, so Grace Life had plans drawn up to completely remodel a vintage car dealership into a modern worship facility. Excitement started building as the new church took shape and the furniture selection began, which ultimately resulted in getting Bertolini Impressions Chairs for the auditorium seating.
“I would recommend Bertolini to anyone, any time, any place, anytime I can. The Bertolini Impressions Chair is the best seat overall; it’s the most practical, durable, sleekest, most comfortable (church) chair that I’ve ever seen or sat in, and I’ve been in ministry for 28 years.”
It’s no surprise that a church known for its hospitality cares about the comfort and well-being of each person who walks through the doors. “When we started this remodel, we knew we wanted chairs that were comfortable and durable,” said Pastor Chad. After all, there’s nothing more welcoming to a newcomer than a comfortable chair, or anything more dispiriting than having to sit through a meeting on a hard, unpleasant seat.
Pastor Chad reached out to several companies that made church chairs to get estimates and learn about the quality of the chairs. “Initially, we thought that Bertolini chairs would be out of our budget because of the reputation and quality,” he said. “But that wasn’t the case. We found that Bertolini was very affordable, and you get more than what you pay for.” After getting a reasonable estimate for the highest quality Bertolini church chairs—the Impressions Chair—he asked for a sample chair.
Once the sample chairs had all arrived, they had a “chair party” to decide which chair was best. They invited a bunch of people for some “food and fellowship” and to vote on their favorite chair. “We had four or five sample chairs, and we did a blind test,” said Pastor Chad. “People would close their eyes and sit in each seat. When people sat in the Bertolini Impressions Chair, there was no contest—it was the clear favorite.” Grace Life took everyone’s feedback to heart and placed an order for Bertolini Impressions Chairs, which now grace the auditorium of the newly remodeled church.
“The Bertolini Chairs are amazing. They sit very comfortably. They’re lightweight, even though they’re nice and sturdy. I would absolutely recommend these to anyone.”
A Fresh Start
There was a lot of excitement about the completion of the new building, which opened in the spring of 2023. The renovated church is beautiful and modern, with a light-filled auditorium, a spotless food prep area, offices, a children’s center, and a large outdoor patio area with chairs and tables where people can sit and talk. And importantly, there are comfortable Bertolini Impressions chairs for everyone in the auditorium, where Sunday services are held.
Pastor Chad said that the chairs are easy to move around and stack, which is a key benefit since they value flexibility and rearrange the auditorium setup regularly. “We noticed when we were trying out the chairs that Bertolini chairs are lightweight compared to other chairs. And that’s important because it can be very backbreaking work if you’re lifting hundreds of chairs over and over and pushing around stacks of 6 to 8 chairs. So, being lightweight is a great benefit for our church.”
Benefits of the Bertolini Impressions Chair
- Durable long-lasting construction with a 25-year warranty
- Lightweight, stackable, and easy to move around
- Extremely comfortable with ample back support and plush cushioning
- Made in the USA
- Customizable with a wide selection of fabrics and finishes
Advice to Other Churches
Having outfitted a church twice in three years, Pastor Chad has learned a lot about how to select the best church chairs. Here’s his advice.
Pastor Chad’s Tips on How to Select New Church Chairs
- Do your research. Get several sample chairs from various companies.
- We had a fundraising campaign to raise money for the new chairs, and I’d encourage others to do that. It was really successful. (Check out Bertolini’s Church fundraising guide to get started.)
- Once you have all the samples in, have a chair party like we did. Line up all the chairs, invite a bunch of people, have some food, and make it a celebration. You’re excited. So, take this opportunity to get your team and your leadership excited about the chairs. Have everybody try out the chair samples, and I guarantee that there will be a clear favorite.
- Buy American made, if possible. Supporting American workers is important to our community, and it probably is to yours too. Even if it costs a couple of dollars more, you get what you pay for.
- You’ve got to look at the longevity of the chair. Something that’s going to last a long time will save you money in the long run versus buying a chair that’s less expensive but only lasts a few years.
Hope Ahead for Grace Life
With a new church building, beautiful seating, and a congregation that’s healing from the trials of the past few years, Grace Life is in a good place. Pastor Chad is pleased with how well the chairs fit in the space. “People are really excited about the chairs—they’re just so comfortable. The only problem with them is that they’re so comfortable that people want to sleep through my message,” he laughs. “So, I think I need to put some kind of a shock system in to wake them up.”