Quantcast

Credit Card for Christ

With the swipe of a credit card, you, too, can give to God



Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, pictured, and several other area churches added giving kiosks that allow members to donate with the swipe of a credit card.

Mike Hammer

Credit may be hard to come by for the average Joe these days, but it’s getting easier for the man upstairs. While a church lobby may seem like the last place you’d expect to find a credit card machine, giving kiosks are popping up in places of worship across Charlotte. It’s the latest trend in tithing: instead of making church donations via passed collection plates each Sunday, simply swipe your card and—voila!—you’ve just contributed $100 to your church.

“People just don’t write checks anymore, so we’re actually behind the curve because we’re just now installing one,” says Ed Holland, the church administrator at Friendship Missionary Baptist in Charlotte. “We’re trying to reach out to our younger parishioners, and this is the fastest way to do it.”

An Augusta, Georgia, pastor came up with the concept in 2004 after realizing most of his 2,000-member congregation was younger and used to paying for things with a debit card. “People kept coming to church asking us if there was another way for them to donate,” says the pastor’s son Stuart Baker, who now sells SecureGive Machines across the country. Two hundred thirty churches in the U.S. have two to four SecureGive kiosks. (Elevation Church has six and Christ Community in Huntersville has three). “We’ve had churches see a 10 to 20 percent increase in the first few months of using them. We got a lot of first-time givers who used the kiosk but had never donated cash before simply because they didn’t have it with them.” Which is exactly what’s happening at Southbrook Church in Weddington, which has its own version of the kiosk. “We installed it in February and we’ve had a bigger response from the kiosk than online giving,” says Southbrook’s executive pastor, David Kush.

But not everyone has warmed up to the idea of donating via debit card. “There’s been some resistance from the people that are older, but there was resistance in the forties and fifties when churches began accepting checks,” says Holland. Robin Furr, business manager at Providence United Methodist, says the congregation hasn’t seriously considered installing a giving kiosk. But, she adds, they haven’t ruled it out. It’s a similar scenario at Myers Park United Methodist, where senior administrator JoAnn Horstman says it’s not really on their radar.

For now, the consensus is that the kiosks are simply convenient more than anything. “When you look at how people are handling their money transactions, simply put, it makes more sense,” says Holland. “I think it’s the generation that’s coming behind baby boomers that are real users of electronic payments. That’s how they do business. That’s how we’re all going to be doing business pretty soon.”

More »Related Stories

Meet the Charlotteans Who Play Extras on Homeland and Sleepy Hollow

When Hollywood comes to Charlotte, many locals fill extra roles

Safe Haven: The Respite

A young widow opens a center to help grieving women

Behind the Mask

The city's mascots tell all

Charlotte Stars in Wilton Barnhardt's "Lookaway, Lookaway"

A new novel puts Charlotte at the center of the New South

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Blogs »


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

'Moral Movies' Series Launches in Charlotte, Other N.C. Cities

A Wilmington nonprofit launches a statewide film series to highlight education and economic issues. Tonight: 'American Teacher.'

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Bachelorette Auction, Drex and Maney’s Party with Aloe Blacc, PlayDate Charlotte, Passport For Fashion, and More April 24-27

Charlotte’s social scene is jam packed with events over the next few days.

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/23/14): Gillian Welch, PostSecret, Othello, & Lady Antebellum

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

5 Great DIY Projects

Home renovations, gardening tips, and a backyard bash to inspire your creative side

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Food (Truck) Fights

New rules could hurt the industry

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Charlotte Magazine Cover Shoot Featured in Matrimony Video

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Apply for a Grant from Keep Charlotte Beautiful

The committee will award $5,000 for projects that make lasting impacts

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Agenda 21 Derangement

How a wild conspiracy theory lassoes mainstream Republicans, Pat McCrory included.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

New Favorite Spring Side

Highlighting spring vegetables should be the highlight of your day, especially when its this

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

A busy week in Charlotte craft beer with events by VBGB, JJ's Red Hots/Triple C, Custom Home Pubs/Unknown, Olde Mecklenburg and Birdsong

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

McCrory's Coal Ash Proposal: All Sizes Fit One

Gov. McCrory's proposed coal ash legislation sounds like a strong step toward forcing Duke Energy to clean the stuff up. It's not. Here's why.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Spring Feasts

Ham, matzah, lamb, potatoes, and eggs, oh my. Passover kicked off Monday and Easter is coming up, so I've got a meal plan ready for you if you've put it off till now.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Coming This Fall: RockSalt

Owner Travis Croxton on his new space at Park Road Shopping Center, his family's oyster farm, and his love of Price's Chicken Coop

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Matthews Market Opens for Spring this Saturday

After a snowy winter and early spring cold snap, farmers and customers are eager to return

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Nightlife News: Sydney’s Martini and Wine Bar Opens, Rebranding Leads to 3 Trade, and Dharma Lounge Prepares to Close

Keep up with the changing landscape in Charlotte’s nightlife scene.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Charlotte’s first growler fill store to open this summer

Located in SouthEnd, The Beer Growler will have 45 taps

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Springtime Events, ‘Illmatic’ Tribute Party, Cigars and Stilettos, Oak Room’s First Anniversary, and More April 17-20

The days leading up to Easter are quite eventful in Charlotte. Your social itinerary awaits.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Carowinds in Bloom

The springtime festival continues through the weekend with flowers, cooking demos, and craft beer

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Sow Much Good

Providing fresh produce and farm goods to those in urban deserts, Sow Much Good has reopened

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/16/14): Blue Man Group, Springsteen, & Local Natives

Comments