is our passion.
is our passion.
“Grandfather of SermonView”
Don Gray, a retired evangelist and the “Grandfather of SermonView,” started Advent Digital Media in 1995 to create computer graphics for Mark Finley’s Net 95 satellite evangelism series. Over the next six years the organization grew to 15 young creative professionals, merging with It Is Written Television in 1999. Don Gray passed away in 2014, leaving a lasting legacy of creative evangelism and lives touched around the world. SermonView is privileged to be part of that legacy.
It Is Written Digital Media Group
Larry Witzel joined the team as Director in 2001, managing the development of evangelism graphics products such as New Beginnings DVD Evangelism and the Evangelism Media Library. Soon the team was renamed It Is Written Digital Media Group (“DMG”), and Vince Williams joined two years later to direct the global launch of Oxygen Preaching Graphics.
In 2005, It Is Written closed DMG to refocus the ministry on the television program and public evangelism. When this happened, Larry and Vince founded the ministry now known as SermonView, offering a place for the entire DMG team to continue developing cutting-edge visual resources. Most of our effort was put into development of Oxygen Preaching Graphics, but during this time the crew also worked with a variety of church leaders on major projects: Mark Finley’s Unsealing Daniel’s Mysteries; Derek Morris’ The Radical Teachings of Jesus; Shawn Boonstra’s The Appearing; Jose Rojas’ Check Him Out; Mike and Gayle Tucker’s Mad about Marriage; John Bradshaw’s Babylon Rising; and The Pastor’s DVD produced by Dave Gemmell at the NAD Church Resource Center.
When development of Oxygen wrapped up in 2009, the SermonView crew transitioned its attention to using that graphics library in printed resources for churches. That year at the NAD Church Ministries Convention in Myrtle Beach, SC, we launched a collection of handbills for evangelistic meetings, extending our journey of partnering with local churches for evangelism.
Inflection Point: Evangelism Marketing
Lynnwood Spangler, the Texas Conference evangelist, asked for help improving his response rates and gave our crew wide latitude to make changes to his marketing. For the first time, we took everything we had learned about church marketing and applied it to a single campaign, changing the series title, the cover art, the bio, and even the sermon titles to make a cohesive, congruent campaign. On opening night he saw quadruple his previous response rates, which led us to put all our focus into evangelism marketing. SermonView entered a phase of rapid growth, as we doubled our mailing volume every year for five straight years.
As we grew, ministries such as Faith for Today, the Voice of Prophecy, Adventist World Radio, and It Is Written Television partnered with SermonView to develop and launch new types of evangelistic events. VOP’s Shadow Empire was the first of several short, focused bridge events bringing members of the community through the doors of local churches, and the SermonView crew was instrumental in making this series a reality. Other bridge events include Mad about Marriage, A Pale Horse Rides, The Appearing, Final Empire, and Indestructible. To date, the SermonView crew has assisted with thousands of these events reaching over a hundred thousand guests.
SermonView responded to the Covid-19 global pandemic with a burst of innovation. Because public evangelistic events were restricted due to government orders, we pivoted again to focus on leveraging online tools for evangelism. InterestTracker, the cloud-based CRM for Adventist evangelism launched in 2019, became a digital hub for building relationships. The Interactive Sermon Viewer, our online presentation hall, connected with InterestTracker to record real-time responses from guests. InterestTracker’s text messaging module made it quick and easy to connect with interests, and an online check-in system allowed churches to track virtual attendance, regardless of the streaming platform used. Through it all, the SermonView crew kept a laser focus on equipping local churches for effective evangelism.
Effective Evangelism Marketing
Today, SermonView continues to pursue our mission of helping churches reach more people for Christ through proven, effective marketing practices. Our LeadGenerator program helps churches connect with real Bible study interests, guaranteeing a continuous stream of leads throughout the year. Our evangelism website system turns a church’s website into an online welcome mat for the community. Our managed digital marketing helps churches find even more people ready to connect.
We’ve been honored to serve some of our current SermonView customers for over two decades. As of 2022, we’ve managed about 6,500 marketing campaigns for thousands of churches in the North American Division, reaching millions of people with the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s life-changing message of hope and wholeness.