Local Church Beta Testing Church Database

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Think of it as Facebook for Churches. One Church in West Texas is entering a new era of outreach here in the Basin.

Stonegate Fellowship was chosen by the church database company, Fellowship One, to beta test the new groups 2.0 software.

It's a platform allowing members and newcomers alike to search small groups on their own time in a private site without any intimidation.

With just a name, an e-mail and no extra cost, people can check group descriptions, see the leaders and send messages without giving away personal information.

Church leaders say these days it's the most popular way to reach people looking for a spiritual home.

"They can just browse, it's just a really non-threatening way to be able to go online and look at everything we offer," Jessi Russo with Stonegate Mobilization, said.

"It's easy to use. You can get on there and in just a short amount of time, type up one e-mail and just send it out to everyone," Small Group Leader, Janet Pruitt, said.

Stonegate has been using the software for more than a year.

Leaders say the programs they offer and the size of their church were among the reasons why they and two hundred other Churches were chosen for the beta testing.