Probably you’ve heard about Christian message boards, or perhaps you have participated in one of the most well-known Christian forums out there on the web. Well, on its most basic, the Christian message boards are by far the most active Christian discussion board on the internet these days. Its history dates back to the year 2001 when the said “first” Christian forum was developed.
According to some resources, the first message board that carries the “Christian” label was developed by Erwin Loh, an Australian doctor and lawyer, on November 19, 2001. After two months of preparation and discussion, the Kings Tavern, which was created by a person named Ryan Swift, also known as Josephus, merged with Christian Forums for one particular purpose – to help establish it as the largest Christian message board community in the world. The new Christian Forums was then re-launched on February 5, 2002, the day of the merger, to promote the unity of all Christians as one body.
The first Christian forums developed by Loh and Swift continue to grow. It grows even after Swift stepped down as co-admin. Along with its rise, the Christian message boards’ shared mission of promoting the unity of the Christian faith continues.
Currently, the site has more than 130,000 registered users and serves members from almost every country in the world. This re-launched Christian message board has more than a hundred administrators and moderators who are divided into staff teams that are named after the fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5:22-23. This message board has been maintaining its motto, which is “Uniting All Christians as One Body”.
Swift and Loh’s Christian Forums actually has an extensive organization of forums. As far as I know, there are more than 400 Christian message boards today, many of which have their own sub-forums. It is further worth noting that some of these Christian message boards place limits on the users who can post on them. For instance, only teenagers have the chance to post in the Christian teen forum. It is important to note that many of these forums are only open to Christians.
Another thing of interest is the large number of options available to the users. Typically, in most Christian message boards, there is a rather extensive profile that users can fill out for themselves. Some profile information, like the age and faith icon, is used to identify access to particular forums. It is also typical in most Christian message boards to have its own currency called “blessings”, which can be given by other users or earned from jobs. This currency is regularly earned by posting on the forums. Also, blessings are used to add features like avatars and pictures to profiles, as well as to purchase armor, pets and other features that can show up on the user’s post.
Today, the Christian message boards developed by Swift and Loh are running a modified version of vBulletin. They also currently run on multiple separate web servers, a central database sever, a slave search server, a DNS server, a mail server, an IRC server and a static file server.