HomeDigital MinistryManagement (ChMS)Ministry Brands Builds Church Powerhouse, Acquires Shelby Systems

Ministry Brands Builds Church Powerhouse, Acquires Shelby Systems

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When Ministry Brands first entered the scene in 2012, they were flying under the radar. No one had heard of them–few have heard of them now. Yet while few have knowledge of this church technology up-and-coming powerhouse, they have been quietly behind the scenes partnering and purchasing church technology companies right and left to build something that hasn’t been done before: a collection of like-minded, Kingdom-focused church technology brands focused on serving churches and ministries around the globe with world-class innovative technology solutions.

It’s radical, and it just might work.

In early 2012, Ross Croley met Ben Sealey, the founder of SimpleGive, became fast friends through their mutual love of technology, entrepreneurship, family, and church. Ministry Brands became a reality and SimpleGive became it’s first brand.

I felt that I could help Ben and his business partner, Jason, expand what they were doing to serve more churches and continue the Kingdom-focus they started with,” noted Croley. “Looking at church technology in-depth, I felt that providers were highly fragmented, meaning that the church was receiving multiple technology platforms from multiple vendors. Furthermore, the technology didn’t integrate with other solutions. For example, a church would have one vendor for a website, one for online giving, another for membership management, and yet another platform for accounting functions. Our vision was to serve churches with the passion we had for serving Christ.”

Ministry Brands LogoMinistry Brands’ goal is to deliver Kingdom-focused technology solutions and services to churches, ministries, and non-profits that help them win more followers to Christ. They believe that technology will play a large role in the future of the church and disciple-making by allowing ministries to leverage technology to reach, connect, and serve. They believe that they have the unique opportunity to be a part of this movement.

Croley adds, “Taking it a step further meant that, instead of having multiple platforms and touch points at the church level, we could create a partnership where like-minded Christian businesses could partner with one another to create better technology for the Church that fully integrated all of the products. We also believe that these tools should be available to all churches and at affordable prices.”

The founders of Ministry Brands quickly realized that the company’s mission and reach were far greater than anything they could have imagined. Today Ministry Brands serves over 30,000 churches and employs just under 200 people.

We believe this is only possible because we are faithful to what God has called us to do and we are good stewards of what He has entrusted us with. What Ministry Brands is doing to serve the church and God’s Kingdom has grown well beyond any of us as individuals. God is clearly part of this,” remarks Croley.

Ministry Brands currently partners with companies that provide websites, online giving, church management, mobile apps, kiosks, and accounting software. Ministry Brands itself is simply a vehicle to bring these companies together so they can share technology solutions, integrate their products and services, and provide them to the churches, ministries and nonprofits we serve at more affordable prices.

Our goal is to serve our churches, and this is best accomplished when the churches we serve work with the brands and people they already know and trust. We expand the capabilities of our partner companies by enhancing their technology offerings and streamlining the pricing models. That allows the solutions to work and be affordable for churches of all sizes. Ministry Brands does not exist to be a public facing brand. It’s simply a network of companies supporting each other that work in cooperation to build a better ecosystem for the Church and its members,” Croley explains.


[Ministry Brands video on Vimeo]

Ministry Brands’ most recent acquisition was Shelby Systems, long-time church management system provider–one of the oldest in the industry.

Our vision for Shelby is to continue to enhance and support the current product line, as well as to expand the product offering to provide more Software as a service (SaaS), or web-based, fully-integrated solutions for the church. We also plan to build upon and expand the Shelby Financials Online product. We will be launching new products at the Shelby Conference (ISC) in June,” says Croley.

Ministry Brands has assured Shelby customers that all changes moving forward will be positive ones, including access to expanded technology resources, products that are much easier to use and more affordable.

Shelby Systems OfficesWe at Shelby Systems are very excited about this new era in our company’s timeline,” comments Mark White, director of business and customer development for Shelby Systems. “We believe Ministry Brands brings an enthusiasm and potential that will not only provide our clients with additional software solutions, it will greatly impact the Kingdom as we provide tools for churches and ministries of all sizes. Because of the depth of the Ministry Brand products we see a natural fit with the current suite of Shelby products, including our Shelby Financials Online. We now have additional offerings for smaller ministries and a wider range of options than anyone in our industry. Kiosk, text and online giving, integrated web development, and mobile apps are only part of what you will see as we roll out additional products and integrations.”

Few can argue against such ideal aims–to work together through multiple technologies, brands, and locations to better serve the Church. It might seem like the game of Monopoly, but in the end, the Church remains the winner.

Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunterhttps://laurenhunter.net
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at https://laurenhunter.net.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Seems to me this company is just following the same path of Mega Churches. They buy out small churches on the verge of closing it’s doors and then they stamp their name on it. Wow, see how much their church just grew this past year? This company is doing just that.

  2. The also acquired Clover Sites / Clover Donations too. So sad to see good companies get gobbled up. Is there a list of companies that haven’t been bought by these guys?

    • Gobbled up? You make it seem like the owners don’t have a choice. Owners usually welcome this option as it takes the burden off development and gives them a retirement plan. I don’t see a problem in one company owning many others if the others continue to move on with their staff and products + some. I’ve seen this go wrong, but I’ve seen it go right too. I’m going to give them a chance.

      • and now you’ve seen it go wrong. almost everyone losing their jobs. customers forced onto platforms they don’t want. makes this press release kind of embarrassing. now that they sold to insight they will probably have to cut more people and raise prices to justify the investment.

  3. Does anyone have a complete list of the companies / products owned by Ministry Brands? They acquired Fellowship One today.

  4. Ministry Brands is only about making money by buying other companies and making them their own. They don’t care about anything else.

    • Randy, what is your relationship to the company? I have worked with a couple of the companies on the list above and they have been good people and from what I can tell, those people are all still with Ministry Brands (based on LinkedIn stalking), but I’m curious about your experience if you’re challenging their motives.

      • Wow John, that’s not even close to being true – with Parishsoft the first thing they did was fire 1/3 of the company – not graciously either. They had to sign a non compete or lose benefits immediately – a lot of them were good people that had dedicated themselves to the company and their customers.

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