Wintersville-based Praise His Name, an online Christian music ministry featuring independent Christian artists from around the world, moves into its second year of operation with renewed emphasis to use a modern means to spread God's word, according to Keith Wilson, founder and chairman of the nonprofit organization.
The Christian-based website www.PraiseHisName.net was established in October 2011 for a specific purpose, including "with hopes to help combat the excessive amount of immoral content on the Internet," Wilson said
"We wanted to use the modern means of technology to spread God's Word. In Mark 16:15, Jesus said, 'Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation,' so what better way to reach the world than the Internet? Our online ministry began with a few individuals providing us music, sermons and short devotionals. As time went on and the content increased, we had to create one playlist for talk and one for music. In October 2012, we decided after analyzing the numbers that the majority of people were listening to music. We began phasing out the talk side in December, and on Jan. 1st, we were playing all music," Wilson said.
The website www.PraiseHisName.net is available 24 hours daily and currently has more than 130 artists with close to 1,000 songs. Wilson explained that the on-demand playlist contains black gospel, Caribbean gospel, country gospel, contemporary, urban, R&B and traditional Christian music.
"We search social media sites Twitter (@PHNRadio), Facebook (PHNRadio) and LinkedIn daily to find new Christian artists. We have just about every genre for people to choose from. We want our listeners to have the opportunity to listen to what they want, when they want," he said.
Its mission is "to be the voice calling out on the Internet using Christian music to spread God's Word" with the goal of using music to encourage, inspire and bring listeners closer to Jesus Christ. "We may never know if someone's life has been changed by what we're doing, but God knows, and that's all that matters," Wilson said.
In addition to Wilson, Praise His Name's board of directors consists of Harry Nicholson, vice chair; Ilore Wilson, secretary; Jeremy Wilson, treasurer; Pastor Bob Welch; and Dan Pinciaro. Serving in an advisory capacity are Ryan Call, technical help, and Marie Wikle, social media.
"Praise His Name is blessed to have the enthusiastic support from numerous area churches," Wilson added.
A new effort on the calendar involves plans for an inaugural "Praise His Name Music Fest" set for April 13 at Bell Chapel United Methodist Church on state Route 213 in Steubenville.
Pinciaro is event project coordinator for the music fest that will begin at 5 p.m. and feature performers that will include himself, Friends, Dave Byers, Steve Powell and Led By Mercy.
Admission is free, and there will be drawings for free CDs, DVDs and T-shirts.
Asked what message he would most want to get across to readers, Wilson responded, "It is our hope that our listeners, whatever their faith, whatever their circumstances, church or nonchurch-goers, may find the message of God's love for each of us in song," citing Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."
He said Praise His Name has been "very well received" by thousands of listeners.
"Since its inception, Praise His Name has had listeners in all 50 states and nine countries," he said. "One of our goals is to find funding and have an app developed that will allow people with mobile devices to have access to every song that's available on our website."
For information, contact Wilson by phone at (740) 264-4604 or (740) 381-5243 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.