The United Methodist Church has launched a national ad campaign that also involves grants to help churches advertise locally. Ginger Troughton is the newcomer coordinator for St. Mark’s United Methodist in Iowa City. She says the denomination is turning to secular sources to tell people about their spiritual activities. She says she thinks advertising for the church has taken a new step in the last four years. She says a lot of times church advertising tended to be local or word of mouth, which she says were great ways to get people to church. Troughton says they know there are a lot of people who don’t attend a church and that’s their target audience. She says if people are out there looking for something to belong to, to believe in, the church offers them a place to fit in and be accepted no matter what. St. Mark’s received a two-thousand dollar grant that it matched to run ads locally.She says they aired their ads on M-T-V, Fox News Network and one of the E-S-P-N sports networks to try and reach a variety of people. Many businesses advertise to try and pull customers from other businesses. Troughton says in their case it’s more to let people know that church is an option open for people, even if it’s not the United Methodist church. She says they have “the spiritual thing that’s available” and they’re not trying to take away from any other church. She says they want people to know there are churches available for them with people to listen, something they can be a part of and join in with. Troughton says they’ve already had some new families come to the church in response to the ads. She says they expect some more as a result of the national ads. The church is spending two-million dollars on the national ads that began running this week and run through September 18th.
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