When visiting a new church for the first time, one can’t help but let their eye naturally be drawn towards the front of the church, taking in the pews, stained glass windows, and finally settling on the pulpit. Each church has its own unique style, anything from rustic to ornate, and functional to contemporary. The pulpit, front and center of each church, complements the rest of the furnishings. Because church pulpits serve as a focal point, there are different types available to help create one cohesive space.
Wooden pulpits are the most popular style of pulpit and can vary significantly in design from very simple to very ornate. Some churches choose to have their wooden pulpits adorned with crosses or other church symbols, church names or logos all of which are custom made specific to each church’s needs. Some churches elect to have their pulpits constructed out of multiple types of wood to create a unique and contrasting look. Depending on the needs of the church, some pulpits are constructed with wheels on the bottom allowing for easy mobility, while others are bolted into place or are left freestanding to accommodate the needs of the church.
Churches that are more contemporary generally elect for either a glass, acrylic or plexiglass pulpit. This design not only allows for the congregation to better see the pastor, but to also give the illusion of having a larger stage. These types of pulpits provide churches and congregations with more functionality than other types of pulpits. Per a church’s request, a manufacturer may etch a Bible verse, logo, name or symbol into the pulpit. However, there is a drawback to selecting a pulpit that is constructed out of plexiglass as it scratches easily. Therefore, congregations who wish to have a clear pulpit elect to have a combination of wood and acrylic.
Granite is the least popular option for church pulpits. Although not popular, some churches still choose granite to be used for creating a church pulpit. The underlying meaning behind having a granite pulpit is that it symbolizes that the Bible is like a rock. Additionally, the granite implies power and permanence. Granite is available in a wide range of colors that can be used to complement the other church furniture.
While the purpose and symbol of the pulpit has evolved over time, from holding the sacraments to symbolizing the authority of the Bible, pulpits have been a staple in modern churches. How a church selects a pulpit type may be determined by the historical significance, symbolic meaning, or functionality.