Transcription - By Hand or Software Application?

Hi Everyone,

We are looking to see how churches are transcribing your pastor weekly sermons. We understand some are using in-house resources to transcribe by hand or some outsource or some are using a software application. Can I get a sense of best practices? Your work flow on how you get the best results? Any help would be appreciated.

Adrian Alonzo
Pastor, Information Technology, Church Tech Arts Ministries
CC Golden Springs - Diamond Bar, Ca 91765

I cannot help but am curious as to why you make transcripts. How are they used?

Hi Craig,

Many churches today find a variety of efficiencies for this material to be used in our post-production processes. This might include our Radio Ads, Social Media, Devotional via email subscription, Mobile App, etc, Hope this answer helps. God bless!

Second Baptist Church, Houston, one of the clients for our firm has a lady who does all the transcriptions for a couple of the pastors. She uses a software called Gear Player and has a USB foot pedal to play/pause and rewind the audio file.

Hi Adrian,

We use to transcribe/closed caption our video interviews and some of our pastor’s teaching. They are very fast, accurate and reasonably priced ($1/minute of transcribed footage). We have been quite happy with them.

We upload a compressed version of our footage to and within in a day we get back a timestamped transcript and closed caption file (.SCC or .SRT). We take the .SCC or .SRT file and either embedded it into the the final output for broadcast (.mov and .mfx support closed captioning) or upload it as a side car file to Vimeo.

We have been using a service as well to do the work. We have used Expert Info Services, use a shared DB folder to send them MP4s, and they turn them very quickly with excellent quality. Sending them in batches, I have been able to negotiate pricing under $1/min.

Contact name - Domenic Thomson

We use Intentional Reach and love them.

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Please contact me if you’d like sermon or podcast transcripts.

The language of ministry is a specialty in itself, as you know.

The whole point of doing sermon transcripts is to aid those who want further study beyond the spoken word. This would include serious scholars who need to underline and highlight, people who are hard of hearing, people who don’t learn well by hearing, people who are not native English speakers, translators who wish to translate your sermon into another language.

Even the pastor himself might like to go back and review what he actually said versus what he meant to say.

A non-Christian transcriber or a transcriber in another country is not going to get the nuances of your message the way a fellow Christian and fellow student of the Bible would. The entire message can be altered by improper word usage or even improper paragraph breaks.

I would love to transcribe your messages with the care and ministry-heart of a fellow Christian.

I do this for a living. I have experience. I can give you references. Seriously, please contact me.

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Hi Craig,

Sermon transcripts help churches in a lot of ways. It improves accessibility; is easier to store and can be shared throughout the week in form of editorials and newsletters.

Take a look at this blog post on advantages of sermon transcription.