Technology and religion

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Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 7/15/2013 6:01 pm
SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's dark. It's loud. It's worship in a way relatively new to northeast Mississippi.

"People either love it or they hate it and we're after the ones that love it," NorthStar Church Pastor Terry Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter believes people between 17 and 35 could find God this way. This is an environment where casual is the norm and praise comes with a band. Technology serves as the backbone.

"We really wanted something that would reach people that were not going to church and in Lee County about 10 percent on average attend a church somewhere," Ledbetter added.

He reaches out with help from technology, but in a way not often seen. This is one church with two campuses.

Ledbetter appears at one in person and at the other through a live stream.

"The volunteers are there. The staff is there. The friendly atmosphere is there. The cafe is there. The bookstore is there and the worship band is there. All of the technology is there. The only thing is the preaching is on the screen and the people really seem to like that," Ledbetter said.

Barbara Bennett is among the volunteers that help produce the sermons.

"Knowing that we can share Christ and the Gospel with others through our technology is an incredible thing. It's what it's all about."

Sharing the Gospel is also the focus for Tupelo's First United Methodist Church.

Change has come here as well, but mostly in their technology.

"Twenty years ago it was people sitting in their rooms watching television and that was it. It was over and it's not that way anymore," Dillard said.

They offer up their sermons live each Sunday on ABCWTVA. Sermons can also be watched on Itunes each Monday.

"To a lot of people who never darken our doorway this is who we are," Dillard added.

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