Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com
OWASSO, OK -- New Heights Church holds casual services and draws members with its use of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and by posting videos to YouTube.
"I had a woman from like in Virginia who saw that and said, 'Hey, how can our church do what you're doing?'" said New Heights Church Pastor Darin Hamm. "So it's actually a way to spread or inspire other people all over the country, so it's not even just you're church that you're helping."
Sojo, an interactive marketing firm, surveyed 145 churches in April and found 32% use Facebook, 16% use MySpace, and 10% use Twitter. New Heights church member Connie Garrett is glad she belongs to one of the few churches who use social networking sites.
"Sometimes the Pastor may post something that's happening right at that moment at the church," said Garrett. "I can respond to him or get excited about it or pray about it or whatever."
Recently the church members have been all a-Twitter about the mystery-man who shows up occasionally to drop of large sums of cash anonymously. Perhaps he had heard of the good works the church was doing in the community through one of Pastor Hamm's postings.
The generous stranger struck again yesterday, giving hundreds more to the church in a plain envelope. Pastor Hamm sent out a quick Tweet to his curious flock.
"It's instant information for them," said Pastor Hamm. "They don't have to wait to hear about it Sunday, they know five minutes after he's left that he came by."