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The Wait is Over for a Much Needed Church Narthex

Market: Religious

A view of the front entrance of a church

Ashford UMC Entrance


Over the past 31 years, the Austin United Methodist Church (UMC) in Houston, Texas has experienced a steady growth in church attendance.  This growth prompted the church to raise funds to construct several additions to their existing facility.  However, once major construction was completed there were limited funds available to complete the building of a much-needed narthex in the rear of the sanctuary. Currently, “there is no area inside the sanctuary exterior doors to welcome worshippers, including a latecomer, without causing a distraction to the congregation,” stated Peter Cutt, from Austin UMC.  Additionally, guests did not like walking directly into the worship area from the outdoors. 

After researching many options, the church chose Screenflex Portable Room Dividers as the best and most cost-effective solution to creating the needed narthex.  Screenflex Dividers, “offer an area inside the sanctuary doors where worshippers can be welcomed by greeters and where a latecomer can pause unnoticed by worshippers until it is the proper time for them to enter the sanctuary,” added Peter.

To build a temporary narthex, the Austin UMC purchased a 7-panel room divider in Excel Stone colored fabric to match their existing decor.  The church staff simply rolled the fully assembled divider into the rear of the sanctuary to create the needed space.  After the first week, the divider was used, the space and the dividers received rave reviews. Everyone was pleased to have a private space to congregate upon walking into the church.

Portable walls create an entryway inside a church

Ashford UMC Narthex

View of the narthex from the sanctuary

View of the narthex from the sanctuary

To expand the use of their divider, the church purchased several Screenflex Artwork Hangers.  These 45-inch long steel artwork hangers have stamped hooks on the metal arm to display up to eight pieces of artwork.  The display hangers allow the church to hang heavier items or materials that are not suitable for pinning directly to the fabric walls. Simply hang the metal hanger over the top of any Screenflex Room Divider. Church informational materials and images are displayed on the panel for the congregation to view.

Ashford United Methodist Church plans to use their room divider in an education building after their narthex is built.  Until then, the Screenflex Divider creates an inviting space to welcome guests to the church.

To learn more about how Screenflex Room Dividers can solve your room division needs, contact a sales representative at 847-726-2900 or at

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