• 54°

Church takes message glob@l

First United Methodist Church of Demopolis has gone global after teaming with the minds behind yourschoollive.com to stream the church’s services live on the internet.

“We were approached by a group based out of Linden,” Lee Pritchett, a member of the technical team at First United Methodist said. “They came to us and wanted us to be the first church to try it.”

The church was in good position to make such a move because it already owned video recording equipment.

“We film our services now and put them on DVD for people who want to check them out of the church library,” Pritchett said. “Really it was just a matter of installing their software and turning it on.”

The church has not yet taken their live services to the World Wide Web just yet, but have taken a trial run at the project by posting last weekend’s services on the Web.

“We’ve only had our first sermon up for a day and we already had over 100 views from across five states,” Pritchett said.

Reaching other parts of the world is an unintended byproduct of the initiative, which Pritchett said the church launched with a twofold purpose.

“The first is we already have a lot of people who come and want the video of our services,” Pritchett said.

“This makes it easier because folks can just download it right onto their computer and it will be there forever.”

The second benefit of the initiative addresses a concern possessed by many churches.

“We have shut-ins too that have internet access at home that will be able to watch the service. It is really a great minitry,” Pritchett said.

The internet streaming also makes it easier for church members to reach out to individuals in the community.

“Also it is a great ministry for the unchurched who are, maybe, looking for a church home,” Pritchett said.

“You can just give them a card and tell them to check us out online. ‘If you like what you see, come visit us.’”

First United Methodist’s first run at streaming its services live is just around the corner, a prospect that excites Pritchett and other members of the Demopolis church.

“Sunday will be our first live streaming service,” Pritchett said.

Live streaming and archived videos of First United Methodist’s services are available at www.fumcdemopolislive.com.