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Harvest Christian Fellowship Case Study


Headquartered in Riverside, CA, Harvest Christian Fellowship is committed to presenting the message of the gospel to the world, from radio and television programs to public evangelistic events. Its Harvest Outreach Ministries holds events throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Its radio program, A New Beginning, is broadcast daily on more than 800 radio outlets across the US and internationally and its TV broadcasts are available online and air each week on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Harvest Christian Fellowship Event on Macbook

The Harvest mission is knowing God and making Him known. Live and on-demand video streaming services from AWS allow us to fulfill that mission by making our ministry accessible to a multitude of devices all around the world. We’re at an inflection point where innovation helps spread the word of God.”

Josh Morris
Director of Marketing & Communications, Harvest Christian Fellowship

The Challenge

Harvest Christian Fellowship sought to stream video of up to nine sermons and Bible studies every week, around the world, and to any viewing device used by its congregants. The organization wanted its message of faith to reach its congregation, satellite & affiliate churches, and its connected audiences at high video quality. The Ministry also needed to accommodate outreach events such as SoCal Harvest, an annual multi-church event that last year that garners more than 200,000 online visitors over three days. Video infrastructure needs to be reliable, scalable, and manageable, requiring minimal technical knowledge and staff.

Why Amazon Web Services

To deliver its large volume of content to churches and congregants globally, Harvest teamed with Amazon Web Services (AWS) provider Stream Monkey to build a robust video streaming infrastructure powered by cloud and appliance-based technology from AWS.

Harvest Christian Fellowship Streaming Workflow

The Harvest infrastructure consists of live camera feeds from services or bible studies that transmit into AWS Elemental Live on-premise encoders. These encoders convert MP4 content to HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) with an ABR (adaptive bitrate) stack to accommodate multiscreen devices. The video files are delivered to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and onward to a third-party CDN for highly resilient and scalable streaming worldwide.

AWS Elemental Live encoders are also used to convert live streams to video-on-demand (VOD) content and to RTMP for distribution to social channels including YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitter. Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier power on-demand asset playback and archival, respectively. The on-demand pathway also feeds third-party video captioning services.

This entire workflow can be replicated at each of Harvest’s five campuses, including Orange Country, Kumulani, Woodcrest, Corona, and Consecha, the last of which is a Spanish-speaking congregation.

The Benefits

Fulfilling Harvest’s mission of making God known through live and on-demand video streaming required a more reliable, scalable and manageable video infrastructure. Using AWS products and services allowed Harvest to leverage the dynamic scalability and high reliability of the cloud.

With limited ministry resources, Harvest was able to deploy the entire streaming video workflow in a timely fashion and with high quality of service and experience. “The Harvest Christian Fellowship goal is to make our ministry more accessible to congregants. We want them to be able to access a high quality video stream of our programming from virtually anywhere just as they would with a popular film, TV show or viral video,” shared Josh Morris, Director of Marketing & Communications, Harvest Christian Fellowhip. “AWS live and on-demand video streaming services and appliances have helped achieve our goals, and with minimal technical knowledge and staff overhead to boot.”

Cost-effective, pay-as-you-go pricing allows Harvest staff to continually innovate, reach a new class of connected congregant, and focus on spreading the fellowship’s message. Harvest prioritized the quality of video, recognizing its importance in spreading its message of faith to affiliate churches and engaging their connected audiences.

About Harvest Christian Fellowship

Founded in 1973, Harvest Christian Fellowship is based in southern California and has a congregation of 15,000 and growing.

AWS Services Used

AWS Elemental Live

AWS Elemental Live converts inputs into live outputs for broadcast and multiscreen video delivery

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Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is a scalable, durable platform to make data accessible from any Internet location, for user-generated content, active archive, serverless computing, Big Data storage or backup and recovery

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Amazon S3 Glacier

Amazon S3 Glacier is a highly affordable long-term storage classes that can replace tape for archive and regulatory compliance

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