When a person hears about Adventists or Ellen White for the first time, the following action is typically a Google search. The term, “Seventh-day Adventists” is searched more than 74,000 times per month, and “Ellen White” receives an average of 27,000 monthly queries.
According to the latest research, what shows up prominently in these search results is not official Adventist content, but that of other churches, magazines, spiritual discussion sites, or news sites. And as many church members are already aware, this content is not always favorable.
That’s exactly why the Grants Pass-based ministry, Center for Online Evangelism, formed in 2012. It consists of a team of digital marketing professionals that provide resources and training for Adventist churches, schools and ministries, and its Project Caleb initiative focuses on creating, optimizing and promoting official Adventist content. It remains the only Adventist ministry solely focused on expanding and improving the denomination’s online influence.
Last month, Project Caleb’s efforts took a leap forward by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ellen G. White Estate, forming a strategic partnership in online ministry efforts. Combining digital marketing experience and strategies with the resources and expertise of the White Estate will help increase the search engine visibility of official Adventist and Ellen-White-centric websites.
“We’re excited to work with the White Estate,” said Ed Wagner, longtime Grants Pass Church member and volunteer executive director of the Center for Online Evangelism. “And we’re looking forward to the day when positive, truthful information about Ellen White will be prominent throughout the online world.”
Local church members can be part of Project Caleb, too. The Center encourages its fellow Oregonian Adventists, as well as church members around the world, to be “online missionaries,” sharing and promoting inspiring, truthful Adventist content within their own circles online.
The Center for Online Evangelism is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Grants Pass, Ore. For free resources on digital marketing for churches or schools, or to learn how to become an “online missionary,” visit centerforonlineevangelism.org.