Back in February, as I was still trying to get back in contact with the ministries I have been providing hosting for, I contacted Pastor Stan Rogers who had been pastoring a church in Pennsylvania. Brother Stan Rogers was now doing a music ministry with his family as an evangelist. He provided me with the name of the pastor of the church we were hosting so I could introduce myself and update their website as needed.
Brother Stan told me he had a website on Weebly for his ministry, but that there were features on the website that had been paid for by a church, and that he would be responsible for renewing. He had no idea how to get into the Weebly administration or contact Weebly and asked if I could help him out, and possibly take over the hosting.
I checked the domain records and found the contact information of gentleman that had registered his domain for him and called the man. The conversation was very friendly, and the gentleman said he was fine with transferring the domain over so I could take over the hosting. This would allow Brother Stan Rogers to place sermons and music on his website without having to pay a fee to Weebly for it. I told him that brother Stan would call him and verify that it was okay and we would transfer the domain and move on. I started duplicating the Weebly website in WordPress. The domain expired in June so we had plenty of time to get things transferred over.
I was able to create a pretty close duplicate website on my WordPress Demo website.
That was in February. That was the last time Brother Stan Rogers or I ever had contact with the gentlemen despite numerous attempts at phone calls and emails. This gentleman had either vanished (maybe the rapture occurred and all of us were left behind) or he just refused to communicate with us for a reason we may never know this side of eternity.
The domain was due to expire on June 8, and around 8 pm that evening I went in and checked it and saw that the domain was still in that gentleman’s name, and had been extended for a year, now expiring June 8 2017. Since there was nothing I could do anyway, I assumed that the domain either auto renewed or, or the gentleman woke up and decided to do the right thing and protect Brother Stan Rogers' ministry website. Since there was nothing I could do anyway – I didn’t give it any more thought.
Fast forward to last night when I received a call from Brother Rogers. He told me the website was now down. The website was reporting that the domain had expired and had advertising on it. A quick search of the ownership records now showed private ownership records, no longer in the name of the gentleman who had registered the domain. The domain was still showing it expired in 2017. He asked me what we could (or should) so.
Since the domain was showing as expired, I assumed it must either be in or about to enter it’s “redemption” period. Since Brother Rogers didn’t own the domain in the first place there was still nothing he could do at this juncture, and since it was probably already past the “free” renewal period, it was going to cost a large amount of money to redeem it at this time (even though it was not showing it was in redemption status at this time).
I “backordered” the domain so that in case the domain was released we stood a chance of getting it back for him, but since we had no idea when it would be released , or if we would ever get it back even if it was released (it could be scooped up by advertising or adult websites if it had any traffic on it) I told him I would register the .org domain (slrogersministries.org) and if the other domain was ever released and the backorder caught it, we could “park” it on the .org domain and it would start working as soon as we got it back.
I registered slrogersministries.org this morning and took a backup of the duplicate website I had created on the churchdemo.us website. I recreated his website.
I was able to work with brother Rogers for about an hour or so today and get him acclimated to WordPress again. He has already updated some of the graphics, and plans to put some preaching and music on the website this week from his meetings.