St. John Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., serves one of central Florida’s most impoverished areas.
Connecting Congregants and Moving to the Future: St. John Baptist Church
St. John Baptist Church, located in Orlando, Florida, needed to disseminate important information and updates to a congregation of over 1,000 members.
The church was awarded a grant that allowed them to use OnSolve One Call Now for two years without charge.
Church leadership is able to communicate and stay engaged with their congregation and the larger community.
The church delivers a vast array of services and ministries including a community food bank and clothing closet. Moreover, the church supports larger-scale initiatives focused on promoting health, education, safety and well-being. Because of this diverse level of focus, church leadership was searching for a way to better connect with its congregation and community members — and they were led to OnSolve One Call Now.
Phone Trees and Miscommunication
As a member of St. John Baptist Church’s leadership team, Chevelle Howard has a front and center perspective to the challenges experienced when trying to communicate with church members — a group that totals over 1,000. “One of our greatest challenges is disseminating important organizational information and updates to congregants on a consistent basis,” states Ms. Howard. “We determined via an analysis of congregant complaints and organizational evaluation that changes to events, services and notifications of urgent matters to necessary Church Leaders, Trustees and Deacons is something that is especially difficult to enact with a rudimentary phone tree process that subsequently increased miscommunication.”
Ultimately, church leadership was searching for a platform that would allow for mass communication principles to be realized. Landline phones simply were not working anymore. The church needed a way to ensure that information could be communicated without dealing with the potential for error presented with traditional phone tree systems delivered via word-of-mouth.
“We have a significant ‘shut in’ population — and even some original members. But because of the number of 65+ year-olds in our congregation, there is a major difficulty in communication because they don’t have a social media presence and their access to mobile devices might be limited,” notes Ms. Howard.
The church was introduced to One Call Now and turned on to the idea of receiving funding for utilizing the platform through a strategic grant. They immediately jumped on the idea and applied, to which they were successful.
Eliminating Communication Barriers
Upon its award of the grant, St. John Baptist Church immediately began implementing One Call Now. Church leadership uses One Call Now several times each month to communicate information via voicemail about weather alerts, general announcements, prayer requests, emergency notifications, service cancellations, special events and more. The service has replaced the church’s phone tree system in its entirety and the organization even uses One Call Now to enable special and targeted group communications meant for church executives, deacons and others.
“We are so pleased with the functionality of One Call Now,” recounts Ms. Howard. “It is a terrific platform overall, but it has also allowed us to ensure our older, homebound population realizes they are remembered. This is a group who might only be able to hear services via radio or if they stream the service, and One Call Now has given us the ability to both stay connected with them and help them know they are in the thoughts of the rest of the congregation.” Furthermore, One Call Now helps St. John Baptist Church stay better engaged with the community as a whole. Through this service, the church has better capabilities for hosting annual events such as Community National Night Out and facilitating meetings in partnership with local elected officials.
More about St John Baptist Church
Founded in 1924 and based in Orlando, Florida, St. John Baptist Church has remained committed to the intent of offering salvation and discipleship to its congregation throughout its long history. Dedicated to the mission of “being a worshipping, witnessing and welcoming congregation with love and a commitment to a spirit of excellence,” the church is known as a community pillar in one of central Florida’s most underserved and impoverished areas.