Barnabas hires helpers to expand largest Web site

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.--Barnabas Ministries, creator of the Bible Study Web site, at, announced it has hired several people to research and collect materials on the Internet to augment its operation.

The materials, say Barnabas founder Alan Ruth, will expand the ministry's presence on the Web and enhance its ability to serve and preach the gospel to the world.

Six people, five Church of God members and one who is not a member but has been a friend of Mr. Ruth's for 20 years, have begun research on three topics.

Mr. Ruth's friend, Nanci Delphia of Royal Oak, Mich., is gathering information on the creation-vs.-evolution argument. She is assisted by Church of God member June Narber Harrison of Raleigh, N.C.

Calvin Lashway of Las Cruces, N.M., is helping out with the "Comfort, Love and Inspiration" section. Lorraine Ellis of North Richland Hills, Texas, Linda French of Portland, Ore., and Janet Treadway of Cincinnati, Ohio, are assembling audio and written information about home-schooling.

Church of God brethren from various groups and fellowships will also create or collect information for the site.

Mr. Ruth's new coworkers had responded to an ad he circulated on Church of God E-mail forums and an announcement he placed on Ron Dart's Texas-based CEM and Friends forum. Each person hired earns $500 for 70 hours of work.

"I've known for a long time that the unordained have a tremendously wide variety of untapped talents and abilities." Mr. Ruth stated. "Our belief in a stifling, hierarchical church-government philosophy has kept most brethren from a dynamic, active participation in the gospel.

"It's exciting to see fellow Christians discover, broaden and contribute their God-given gifts to serve others. I am thankful to be able to play a part in encouraging my brethren."

Mr. Ruth, who has a day job and operates the Web site in his spare time, hopes eventually to hire more researchers for his Internet efforts. New sections are tentatively planned for teaching children the Bible, music, study aids in foreign languages and Bible-based health principles and a section for female Christians and the issues they face called "The Virtuous Woman."

Mr. Ruth created the Bible Study site in 1996. It has become the largest Church of God­related site on the Internet. More than 15,000 people from around the world visit it monthly.

It houses more than 200 articles and 150 audio messages, including sermons, from close to 100 Church of God writers and speakers.

Financial support to defray increased Internet expenses because of the site's growing number of visitors can be sent to Barnabas Ministries, P.O. Box 3393, Farmington Hills, Mich. 48333, U.S.A.

"The site has had astonishing growth this year," said Mr. Ruth.

Last year visitors to the site requested 63 gigabytes (about 63 billion letters or other characters) of Bible-study materials--equivalent, Mr. Ruth says, to 720,000 copies of 35-page booklets. "This year, by the end of May, the site will have sent out more than all of last year," he said.

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