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Who is Behind This?
   
 

The goal of this site is to share information regarding the location of churches of Christ having specific practices and characteristics. These churches, uniquely, have no earthly headquarters or formal organization structure above the local congregation, making them challenging to find without this kind of directory. These churches also have somewhat distinctive practices discussed in more detail below.

This site is a part-time hobby of Earle West of Marlboro, NJ USA and many others. This information therefore is absolutely "unofficial" and should only be considered a casual work, subject to errors and omissions of all kinds, and numerous ad-hoc contributors.

Earle can be reached at ehwest@gmail.com or (908) 216-5054 in the US.

Updates and new records may be input on-line at any time by anyone. However, all records are quality-checked for very basic consistency before publishing. Errors do get through, and email is a good way to fix any point of confusion.
Many Sources
In the fall of 2000 a significant amount of US directory data was seeded in into the project by Dennis Kelly, Searcy, AR, USA. Eighteen months later, non-US data was provided by Mac Lynn, Nashville, TN, USA.

In 2002, Salvador Cariga, The Philippines, Roy Davison, Alken, Belgium, Randy Matheny, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, Theodore Lucas, India, Graham Fisher, the United Kingdom, Kim Voraritskul, Thailand, and Fielden Allison, Kenya provided guidance and/or data for the project.

In 2003, an (unamed-by-request) team of people have provided a very large database (20,000 records, since reduced to 16,000) of churches of Christ in India. In early 2004, Wendell Broom provided to us a copy of his nearly 4,000 (since reduced to 3,600) churches of Christ in Nigeria in 2004. During their May, 2004 visit to the US, Lendal and Peggy Wilks brought over their list of 107 churches in Mozambique and more than 1,700 churches in Malawi. In July, 2008, Bren White provided a list of 319 French-speaking Churches of Christ around the world, which is the work of Barry Baggott, Doyle Key, and Bren.

In February, 2010, Ruth Zimmerman, Ontario, Canada, provided detailed records for 175 congregations in Papua New Guinea.

All records, from every source, are generally vetted and matched to our global database of latitude and longitudes for the nearest poplulated place, based on a US government gazetteer. Starting November 30, 2014, we are replacing most all of our lat/long values with new, much more accurate, values from Google. Thanks to Matt Prewett of the Saturn Road church of Christ in Garland, TX for providing funds for providing county-level data for the entire US and all of the Canadian postal codes.

The United States government has also provided a significant amount of free geographic data that is needed to provide the unique "find-within-radius" feature of the site worldwide.

The data these folks provided is protected under United States copyright law, and is used here by permission.

Transactional Web, Inc., a privately held for-profit corporation, owns all of the software, data, presentation, intellectual property, and patents pending that are embodied in the system at this time. Copyright protections are asserted to prevent economic and/or other forms of abuse. The same underlying software system is currently used for commercial purposes for SkiWhere.com.

Of course, this site would have very limited value if it were not for people like you, who silently provide an incredible non-stop stream of updates for everyone to share. Please check out all the listings you know about. Click here to update a listing right now!

We openly list all other known similar directories and occasionally use them to verify new or changed listings, and to harvest new listings from people who post to those sites. If you know of other relevant directories, please write. Check our list of other directories.

The good news is that hundreds of thousands of seekers are served with information about the congregation nearest them.

 
Practices and Policies
 

ChurchZip is a ministry, not a business. We do have a limited amount of commercial advertising on the site to cover hosting expenses.

Our goal is to make it easy to find the church of Christ wherever someone might want to find one. By offering up each congregation's own local web site, we encourage further inquiry into each congregation's practices.

ChurchZip does NOT include all churches of any kind or type.

Churches listed in ChurchZip are limited to those disclosing certain highly distinctive New Testament practices. We list only those churches satisfying all three: 1) those not served by any official denominational directory, 2) those adhering to names for themselves that can be found in the New Testament, and 3) those who adhere to the profoundly distinctive New Testament practice of using acappella music during worship services.

We rely on leaders within each congregation to tell us whether or not they fit these characteristics. We ask no questions about what anyone 'believes,' but we do ask about what is practiced. We also don't consider "theatrical" events of any kind to be defined as a worship service.

Why do we limit this list? Very simple! Most people using ChurchZip are looking for churches just such as these!

Please write if you know of any listing incorrectly identified in this category. We can probably point you to other directories, should this one fail to meet your needs.

We browse all possible sources on the Internet and elsewhere to check for accuracy and changes. Trustworthy directory operators are always willing to make corrections and/or additions you provide to them. Don't EVER pay someone to correct their own records. We welcome your corrections and/or new records. Freely we receive, freely we give.

Help Wanted!

We are always looking for contributions of data describing churches around the world. If you have directory information we don't have, or have updates, join the effort!

If you have any direct knowledge of mission outposts or churches of Christ in countries outside of the United States, we would be pleased to update our records accordingly. If your congregation is involved in funding such outposts, your good stewardship may well lead you to provide that information for all to share.

Technology
 

ChurchZip is a very special kind of directory. Once you specify a particular place for the center of your search, our radius-based listing crosses boundaries of all types, including all local, state, and national borders. The results are listed in an order based on distance (as the dove flies).

ChurchZip is built on the latest server and database technology available from Amazon Web Services. The current database contains detailed records for more than 40,000 churches. Because ChurchZip costs are so low, there are no costs to any users.

Now in it's 13 th year of operation, the ChurchZip system is one-of-a-kind software application that uses numerous open-source (free) software and data components. The application software is about 5,000 lines of custom code. We use the CentOS distribution of Linux, the Apache web server, the PHP web application server, and mySQL database server.

A technology refresh is currently underway at in the last two months of 2014.

We have used the United States National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) data for latitude and longitude of many non-US locations and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) data for US locations. We have relied on NIMA's public repository of non-US place-names (and spellings) approved by the Foreign Names Committee (FNC) of the United States Board on Geographic Names. (We know they have erred in numerous Latin renderings of Japanese and Chinese place names, and will continue to report specific problems to them as needed).

Starting in November 2014, we are updating all location data using Google map data and images. This is known to be very accurate, world-wide. There are exceptions, however, so we provide for updating your own location should you wish to do so.

Our basic goal for ChurchZip.com is to serve up free data from the world's largest and most accurate directory of churches of Christ.

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