Brothers create online compilation of Waco area churchesSept. 24, 2003
By Kimberly O'Donnell, reporter
Baptist. Catholic. Methodist. Whatever type of church it may be, webmasters at BUChurches.com can help you find it. The Web site searches for churches to help members of the Waco community find their ideal church home.
Baylor graduate and current George W. Truett Theological Seminary student John Young and his brother, Ryan Young, a Houston junior, created the site. John Young said he saw a need for Baylor students and the Waco community to find a church home and plant themselves there.
'John thought of this idea,' Ryan Young, an information systems major, said. 'He basically is the brains of the operation.'
John Young researched church options himself and concluded a Web site like this was in demand.
'The vision of BUChurches came about after four years as a student at Baylor,' John Young said. 'Many months of these years were spent visiting churches. Through my own search, I discovered two things: There is little to no information about most churches available to the general public, and there are many good churches that I had never heard anything about.'
BUChurches is a compilation of 55 churches located in and around Waco. Churches in Lorena, Temple and Mart are included.
The Web site can be used to search for a church that most closely fits one's personality. Search criteria include church attendance, worship style, college ministry, distance from Baylor campus, discipleship groups, denomination, number of Sunday morning services and approximate service times.
'We feel this is a better way to get information to the students,' Ryan Young said. 'Students get frustrated with searching and stop looking completely. We want to have our name known on campus so incoming students won't have problems finding a church.'
Waco area pastors saw the need for a site like this as well.
'BUChurches presents a unique opportunity to make local churches accessible to college students who would otherwise be left to pick churches at random,' Joe Bailey, Speegleville Baptist Church pastor, said.
Sections on the Web site list events and help in finding transportation. These sections allow those in the community to get more involved, whether in attending a concert or asking someone for a ride to Sunday school, Ryan Young said.
Ryan Young owns Reeyon Creative Solutions, a Web site and graphic design company.
'Reeyon Creative Solutions posts featured events, and we rent out the space per week to the churches on our database,' Ryan Young said. 'As long as the event pertains to all students, we will post the events.'
Of course, as some would say, nothing is free. Creation of the Web site, fliers and other advertisements cost the Young brothers a few bucks along the way.
'We had contributions from people who believed in the ministry,' Ryan Young said. 'Harris Creek Baptist [Church] even offered to have us affiliated with them. Last time we estimated, the total cost was $720.'
In order to pay for their creation, the brothers decided to charge $15 a year to churches who wished to remain on the Web site.
'Our final goal is to include every church in the Waco area,' Ryan Young said.
As for the extensive time commitment in the project, the Young brothers decided to obtain help in creating the final details of the Web site. Ryan Young called his friend Ryan Tate, owner of RankHi.com, to help create the church database.
'My experience is limited to graphic design and basic Web site layout designs, so we contracted Ryan Tate from RankHi,' Ryan Young said.
Both brothers plan to continue working on the site and have discussed branching out into other college towns.