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Godtube.com puts Christian worship online

Entrepreneur Chris Wyatt draws millions to GodTube.com, a website with Christian content that features prayer walls, video clips, and social networking.

By Dmitry KiperCorrespondent of The Christian Science Monitor / February 6, 2008

Cyberchristianity: Chris Wyatt, founder of GodTube.com, poses in his office in Plano, Texas. GodTube.com, a video-sharing and social-networking site with Christian content, was the fastest-growing website in the US in its first official month of operation. But Mr. Wyatt hopes for more than first clicks: He wants deeper theological discussions.

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Chris Wyatt bears many marks of the Internet Generation. His thumbs beat out text messages on his BlackBerry, while his 60-gig iPod croons a soundtrack for his life. He also sprinkles his conversation with words like "dude" and "man."

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Yet Mr. Wyatt can always be found with one other item that sets him apart from many 30-somethings: a Bible. In fact, he carries a hard copy and two audio versions – one of which features actors, music, and sound effects.

Now Wyatt is trying to fuse his two passions, technology and God, in a venture that is changing how millions of Christians communicate, and harnessing technology as a force for worship and prayer.

Wyatt is the founder and CEO of GodTube.com, a video-sharing and social-networking website. "We like to think of it as Christianity on demand, 24/7, there when you need it most," says the clean-shaven and imposingly tall Wyatt, with excitement.

Wyatt was raised by Presbyterian parents in Oklahoma and attended a Roman Catholic high school. But for the most part, he says, he was just "going through the motions" in church and school: "Religion didn't stick, period." After studying finance at the University of Southern California, Wyatt launched a career in broadcasting and led a life that was, he says, "very godless, to say the least."

Then, in 2005, he was on the phone with his mother, confessing that something was missing. "It's time that you accept Jesus as your savior," his mother told him. Wyatt listened. The next year, he enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary. One day in class he read about a decline in American church attendance and recalled lessons he'd gleaned as president of a company that rented Christian DVDs. Traveling to churches and stores to digitize videotapes, he had seen that churches were having a hard time attracting young people. So while still a student in Dallas, Wyatt decided to reach out to teens and 20-somethings through a medium they use, with hopes, also, of finding "those who haven't heard the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Wyatt calls it Jesus 2.0, and says GodTube isn't doing anything different from what "Jesus did when he was here." The website, with the motto of "Broadcast Him" (as opposed to YouTube's "Broadcast Yourself") is merely "taking the most technologically advanced form to deliver the message."

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