NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–More than 2 million hits have been generated on the Southern Baptist Convention’s newly designed website since its May 10 debut and the SBC home page has been called up more than 60,000 times, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee.
“The new Southern Baptist Convention website, www.sbc.net, will position Baptists to share the Gospel message with countless individuals through cyberspace with its user friendly capabilities,” Chapman said. “It’s a website that all Baptists can be proud of.”
One of the most popular items on the website is the church search function. The church search allows people to locate SBC churches closest to their homes. Between May 10 and May 30, information pages on specific churches were accessed nearly 28,000 times.
There were 23,000 specific searches completed by users. “If there was any doubt in the minds of pastors that the Internet is a way for people to find a church, this should dispel it,” Chapman said.
“We are hoping that many of those people were seekers interested in attending a Southern Baptist church, and perhaps for the very first time,” Chapman added.
The popular feature offers users the ability to search for a church by city, zip code, state, or the partial name of a church. The function will also provide actual driving times and maps.
The new feature also includes links to SBC churches that already have websites. Chapman emphasized that the church information pages are not intended to take the place of existing church websites. “We want to provide a web presence for every Southern Baptist church,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they have five members or 500. All they have to do is supply us with a church profile.”
Chapman said he was encouraged by the number of times the website’s witnessing tool was accessed. According to data, the tool was called up 1,771 times.
“The SBC website will become an integral part of reaching people of all ages for Christ and telling them about their Southern Baptist heritage and the many agencies supported through Cooperative Program giving,” he said.
The SBC made its initial venture into cyberspace more than two years ago with a basic site that provided information about SBC programs and agencies.
The newly redesigned site was unveiled in February during the Executive Committee meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Chapman demonstrated a prototype of the site during a plenary session, demonstrating the many new features available to Baptists.
Baptist Press, the official news service of the convention, registered 200,871 hits during the first month of the new design with 23,681 news articles viewed.
Messengers and guests at the annual SBC meeting in Orlando will have an opportunity to explore the new website at the Executive Committee’s website booth located in the exhibit hall.
As an added bonus, convention attendees will be able to check their email at the booth. “We hope a number of people come by to visit the booth and familiarize themselves with the capabilities of the new site,” he said.