In 2005 I (Joshua Holmes) was attending Liberty University as a student majoring in Computer Science and Youth Ministries. As a job, I had been programming and building websites for years. I was fortunate that I grew up in a family where my father got me into computers young and fostered my love for technology.
While at Liberty, half out of boredom and half out of sheer joy to be coding, I decided I would create an online forum community for youth. The experiment was simple. I knew that kids usually were more honest and open online than in person. I thought it could be a great way to reach non-believers for Christ, and help council youth. Even if 1 person came to Christ through the site it would have been worth the effort. I never intended on creating a social network.
After just 1-3 months of being live in 2005, the site started to get a lot of attention. A lot of users kept saying things like this is like mySpace but for Christians. Ironically, it wasn't at all like mySpace, but I got the hint, and that was that people WANTED a Christian Social Network where they could feel safer, have cleaner content and be with others where the majority shared their views.
After the aha moment, I created a lot of features geared toward social networking. Back then, sites were really primitive, it really didn't take long.
Sometime in early 2006, when I was near the beginning of my spring semester, I got a call from the Today Show. They were doing a segment on Christian teens and how they're changing the church and doing things differently than their elders. After it aired, there was an onslaught of media interviews, newspaper articles etc.
Since our initial big hit, myPraize has grown to over a million users. We still operate as a Christian site, true to our mission, and we still shine the light of Christ, but now we do it with a brand new site, a lot more features, a mobile app and much more.
Enjoy the site, and if you run into any bugs or trouble feel free to PM me.
Joshua Holmes (Joshua)