Today I came across another example of how important it is to protect your domain name. I understand that sometimes things happen you just have no control over, but it seems that sometimes a ministry’s domain takes the lowest priority. Unfortunately once something gets around on the internet it can be almost impossible to undo it!
As I was going through the Baptist Ministry Database today, checking and updating links I came across a link to a Fundamental Independent Church (albeit not a Baptist church, but a church that is in fellowship with other Baptist Churches). Here is a description of “Faith Chapel” in Carlisle PA from their website:
“We are an independent, fundamental, Bible-believing church located in central Pennsylvania; a warm and friendly congregation welcoming everyone to join us in lifting our hearts together in worship to GOD. We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of GOD and understand it as the only authority in matters of faith and conduct. We preach the gospel of GOD’s saving grace; salvation through faith in Christ alone. We place a priority on reaching the unsaved through our support of missions, outreach to our community and the daily testimony of our Christian lives. We faithfully adhere to the Word of God in traditional worship services using the KJV.”
They are a member of the Harrisburg Area Preachers' Fellowship (HAPF) which includes many Baptist Churches. The domain in the Baptist ministries database pointed me to a Faith Chapel website, which identified the Pastor’s wife as the “Worship Pastor.”
I had to search this website before I finally figured out the Faith Chapel website I was on was in Spring Texas, not Carlisle PA! A search on Google turned up their new website, but the Spring Texas website was STILL in the top ten listing in the search! Further investigation showed this domain was actually now owned by an Assembly of God Church. What would happen if a preacher hit the AOG website and started passing around that this ministry has now gone Pentecostal (that could never happen – could it)? I know that Fundamental Independent Baptists would NEVER spread rumors around, would they? How would you undo something like that once it gets around?
While this may not seem as bad as hitting a porn website it has the potential of doing more long term damage to your ministry. People hitting a porn website will recognize right away that this could not be your ministry. With the backsliding and compromise so prevalent as we draw closer to the end times, it is far easier to believe that a minsitry has changed, or leadership has changed.
HAPF still has a link to the old website as do many other locations on the internet.
It is to your benefit to protect your domain name.
This is one of the reasons I do not like to take down a ministry’s website, and is why we do not charge for anything we do.
It is bad enough for the ministry to send people searching for their ministry to the wrong website, it is worse when you have people linked to your website get sent to the wrong place.
Protect your domain name!