News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "Some times people call me a pastor-preneur."
It's a title Pastor Marty Baker doesn't mind at all.
Along with his full-time job as a pastor at Stevens Creek Church, he is the founder of SecureGive.
"Several years ago, we introduced a giving kiosk to our congregation because we understood that people don't carry cash, they don't carry checkbooks, but they live with a debit card in their hand," said Pastor Baker.
Now, this multi-million dollar middle-man company is seeing millions of dollars go from church members to their respective congregations a year.
Stevens Creek Church saw $1 million move its way through SecureGive just last year.
"We have seen our giving increase 22 percent from last year to this year," Baker said.
That increase is a model for other churches to get on board.
"This concept has really taken off across America. What started right here at Stevens Creek Church is now a nationwide phenomenon," Baker said.
Over 900 churches are on board with this technology, including churches in Canada and Puerto Rico, all wanting to share another way that their congregation can give.
Bill Reynolds, a longtime member at Stevens Creek Church, says convenience is the best thing about these giving kiosks.
"I don't have to worry about writing a check, I can instantly go to my computer and pull it up," Reynolds said.
And like many, Reynolds isn't that great with technology.
"From someone who really has trouble when it comes to computers, I'm really out there in the lost world, but this is so easy," Reynolds said.
He, along with millions of church members across the country, now get the convenience of donating either from the pew of a church or the privacy of their own home.
"When it's convenient, people give more," Baker said.
Another tool in making it more convenient for church members to donate is an iPhone app.
"We have over $100,000 donated last year just through our iPhone app," Baker said.
All of this to spread the word and get people giving.
"The giving kiosk just helps them do what their heart wants to do anyway," Baker said.