It is now deemed the fastest growing online community for Christians.But it is only one of many online dating sites for the mate-less faithful.“God and nature do the rest.” A century after Savidge’s enterprise, faith-based matchmaking services are thriving—but online, where nearly a quarter of all couples now find each other.
Men can now check out men, and women can search for women, on the religious dating site Christian Mingle, which previously sanctioned only heterosexual relationships.The site opened to gay users after settling a lawsuit that claimed that it violated California’s non-discrimination law.Others include Loveandseek.com, Christian Cafe.com, and Equally Together, they form a pool of eligible Christian singles that is rapidly growing in size.The oddity of having a preacher playing the role of Cupid made the rounds in newspapers for decades, with stories on Savidge’s matrimonial bureau and on-demand wedding services appearing in print from Spokane to New York.
“I just simply bring the man who wants a wife and the woman who wants a husband together,” Savidge told the Boston Globe.Still, the details made for sensational type, and newspapers across the country printed the dispatch.Despite rejecting Snell’s offer, Savidge received hundreds of letters expressing romantic interest in the wealthy rancher.After entering my email address, zip code, and height, I’m asked, “What is your body type? This paradox is one of several that causes me to wonder if increasingly popular Christian dating websites undermine the faith-values of their users.” My cursor hovers above “Washboard,” but in the end, I select, “I should maybe lose a few.” Next comes eye color, ethnicity, education, occupation, and smoking and drinking preferences. I’m questioned on what type of church I attend, how often I go, and what ministry I’m involved in. As of 2011, Christian Mingle had garnered more than 5 million users, and it generated .9 million in revenue during the first nine months of 2012.“Like all other companies, we must abide by the laws that govern our state and nation,” the email said.