LifeChurch.tv Applies for $185,000 .church Domain Name
By Ruth Miyake - Crossmap On June 15, 2012
LifeChurch.tv, a megachurch based in Oklahoma, has applied to register the .church domain name, paying $185,000 for application fee.
Executive Pastor and Innovation Leader Bobby Gruenewald said that the goal is not to profit from controlling the domain with fees but rather to make Internet outreach easier and more accessible, reports USA Today.
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"First of all, the '.church' extension will help churches label who they are without awkward URLs that are difficult to type or remember. Secondly, the new extension will help those searching about faith online to easily see which sites are ministry-related. With the '.church' label, churches and ministries will be able to stand apart from government entities, corporations and other organizations and allow individuals searching to clearly find what they need," states LifeChurch.tv.
Under the .church registration with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the URL would be open to churches, denominations and organizations of all faiths and religious beliefs, according to LifeChurch's proposal. As a self-sustaining initiative, .church domains would be available for purchase at a reasonable cost and on a first-come, first-served basis with no auctions or bulk purchasing, said church leaders.
"When people are searching for answers, one of the first places they go is online. Exploring matters of faith is no exception, and many individuals experience a church's website before they ever step through its doors," said Gruenewald.
"There are countless examples of the church creatively utilizing technology to maximize its ministry. The '.church' extension is another way the church can meet people where they are in this digital era."
The proposal was announced at ICANN's news conference held Wednesday in London - among the major companies seeking domain names that reflect their brands are Apple, Sony and American Express. The majority of the proposals came from North America and Europe, and each application is said to cost $185,000.
In order to encourage ICANN to approve the domain extension, LifeChurch.tv is asking individuals to voice support and spread the word.
The high-tech megachurch offers more than 40 online church experiences every week and has 15 campuses including in Florida, New York, Texas, and Tennessee. It is also the developer of Bible app YouVersion.