The First International Church Of The Web

Church Newsletter For February, 2000 - Third Anniversary Special

Hi everybody! Greetings from one who loves you!

Happy Anniversary! Yes, February is the month we celebrate the anniversary of our church, and we're three years old this month! In that brief period of time we've grown to over four thousand members in dozens of countries around the world. Praise God! I'd like to share a brief history of our church with you, especially with the newer members. In February of 1997 I was accessing the internet using a new contraption called WebTV . For those who aren't familiar with WebTV, it's a small appliance (called an "internet access appliance") which allows the user to access the internet using their television set as a monitor. It's a great little gadget for what it does, but it is somewhat limited (especially the earlier sets), since it lacks a harddrive, mouse, etc. As I surfed the web I came to realize that there simply weren't a great number of Christian web sites, at least, not in early 1997. I began thinking about what sort of Christian web site I could put together, and that was when I received a vision for a church on the internet, a place where Christians could go for resources, fellowship, and prayer. The very night I received this vision I built the basic shell page for our church on Geocities, and we had our first member join within a very few days. I was especially pleased that our first member was from Canada, making our fellowship truly international right from the start! God's hand was definitely on our church, and our fellowship grew rapidly.

Originally, I had no intention of offering free ordination to our members, but this came about as a result of requests from our members themselves. At the time, I took the suggestion before the membership via e-mail, and there was overwhelming support for the idea. Since then, thousands of our members have received ordination and created many other ministries, both on and off the internet. The ordination service and other services offered by our church have proven to be very popular with the membership, and continues to be a vital part of our mission.

Of course, I quickly came to realize that WebTV was too limited for this work, and began praying for a computer for our church, and mentioning this need in our newsletter. Praise God, one of our earliest members answered this prayer by a gift of a new computer to our church, and it's made all the difference in carrying on this work. I'd like to say who this member is, but he's always requested anonymity, which I will continue to respect, but we all owe a big "Thank You" for his generosity. With the new computer, our church took on a new, more professional appearance, and now bears little resemblance to the original web page.

We continued to be hosted on free web site providers such as Geocities, Tripod, etc. until August of 1999, when Brother Lance Micklus and the Teddy Bear Monastery (the children's outreach ministry of our church) blessed our church by purchasing the domain "", and paying to host our site on a "pay-for" service. This has also been a great blessing to our church, making it even more accessible than ever before. And now, here it is, February, 2000, and we're three years old!

One of the most popular features of our church has been Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies, the educational outreach ministry of our church. . In response to numerous requests from our members, I'm pleased to announce this month the addition of two more degrees available from Saint Luke's. You can now earn a Bachelor's degree in Christian Web Site Design, and a Master's degree in Theology. We are able to offer these degrees because they are both intrinsic to the beliefs and practices of our church. I'm especially pleased that the lessons offered in the Theology curriculum are drawn directly from papers submitted by our Ph.D. applicants, and I'm glad to be able to share these with our members. Pursuing any of the degrees available is a great way to help support our church, and helps insure that this vital ministry remains active and afloat. Of course, even if you aren't able to pursue a degree, all the lessons offered at Saint Luke's are available completely free of charge for personal or Sunday School use, and I think you'll find they represent a great resource.

Another new service has been added to the front page of our church web site, which you'll find about two-thirds of the way down the front page. It's a "check your e-mail" service which allows you to check your personal e-mail while you're away from your personal computer, and works with virtually any POP3 e-mail account. Now, whether you're at work, visiting friends, or even travelling, as long as you're able to access the internet and our church web site you'll be able to check your personal e-mail account for new mail, and even respond to it! And the great thing is, your messages still remain on your own server, so they'll still be waiting for you when you get home. Give it a try!

And speaking of e-mail, the Teddy Bear Monastery offers a free "ping" service you can use anytime you want to check and see if your e-mail service is working correctly. To use it, simply send a message to, and you'll receive a nice message back from the bears at the monastery! A great way to check that your e-mail is sending and receiving a-okay!

Well, beloved, that's about going to do it for this special edition of the newsletter. Remember, as far as our church has come in the past three years, there's still plenty of work to be done in this great mission field. I'd like to thank each and every one of our members for their participation and for making this evangelical effort possible. Your participation in our activities, and your support of this ministry by ordering any of the materials available from our Clergy Credentials Catalog or Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies, and even your love offerings, are all important parts of making the church possible. Each and every one of you have my sincerest thanks, for you have all been a blessing not only to our church, but to me personally as well. You have my pledge as well that I will continue to put my greatest efforts into this ministry, but without YOU none of it would be possible. Thanks again, and God Bless You!

Yours in Christ,
Brother Dave

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