PALM DESERT — Lacey Kendall, a faculty member at the Cal State San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus, earlier this year saw a need to help local churches. She asked friends to help put together a durable, affordable, easy-to-install and easy-to-operate system that would help stream services to their congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of their members are sick with the virus, plus the fear of getting sick has also caused others to stop engaging. Seniors in their congregations who have been with the churches for decades, have dropped out due to a lack of technology skills,” Kendall said in a prepared statement.

In June, the Church in the Cove Community Presbyterian Church in Cathedral City recommended the technology kit created by Kendall and her three friends, James Trotter, assistant director of Academic Technologies and Innovation at CSUSB; Paul Allen, an engineer with the Sweetwater Corporation; and Craig King, information technologies director at Sunrise Christian Church, for a $150,000 grant to specifically help Presbyterian churches in need. This money ultimately helped save more than 30 Southern California churches.

CSUSB Faculty Member Works to Save Black Churches

Jeff Mague; AV Team Member for Grace Presbyterian Church of Temecula. Mague is seen immediately after wall-mounting a PTZ Optics camera; a key component of the church technology package.

With the media package they put together, Kendall said, “members of any congregation would not have to download, purchase or learn any software. They would just click a link and a viewer would open up with a crisp picture and great audio on their phone or whatever other device they may have. Voila! They’re back in church!”

After helping those congregations with much-needed technology, Kendall says that she now wants to help African-American congregations struggling during the pandemic as well, so she has begun reaching out to community members for help in raising money.

Kendall is looking to help three historic black houses of worship in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties that have been hit-hard by COVID-19, to continue to serve their communities by utilizing this technology, but only if the money becomes available. The cost of equipment for each congregation is $1,700.

Kendall is not a member of any of the congregations, but says that she and friends in the media technology field are helping “because all of these churches are in such peril.”

One of the houses of worship Kendall would like to help is the First Community Baptist Church of Desert Hot Springs, the oldest Baptist church in the Coachella Valley, which was recently attacked by vandals who broke windows and spray-painted the outside of their chapel.

Other local congregations on her list include the First Baptist Church in Palm Springs and the New Life Christian Church of Fontana, which was recently robbed during their absence from the facilities. All three congregations provide community-supporting programs for the hungry and homeless.

“These churches offer so much support for our communities when we are suffering, but who helps them?” asked Kendall.

Kendall is a member of the Building Wealth Initiative IE; a 501c3 non-profit that has offered to oversee and distribute donations to sustain the Save the Church Technology Project.

For more information about the Save the Church Technology Project, or to support their work, contact Lacey Kendall via email at or call (909) 890-6960.





















Image Sources

  • Jeff Mague: CSUSB
  • Lacey Kendall: CSUSB