Read the miraculous story of an evangelist who was so ignorant about the internet that he thought he had to pay for an email and his seven little children starting BCNN1.com (Black Christian News Network One).
(The other three children who helped build BCNN1 — Daniqua Whyte, Danyel Ezekiel Whyte, and Danyelle Elizabeth Whyte — are not pictured because of their age.)
Editor’s Note: Black Christian News Network is for sale for $3.7 million. We are looking for a Christian media organization to take over the website — one that will preserve its Gospel focus, its outreach to all people but especially the African-American community, and its conservative biblical viewpoint. Our preferred buyer would be one of the following: The Christian Post, Salem Media Group, National Black Church Initiative, The Urban Alternative, Urban Ministries Inc., or T.D. Jakes Enterprises. As we pursue this venture, we are releasing a seven-part “History & Story of BCNN1” series documenting how the website got started and how it has grown over the years. This page will be updated as new parts of the series are added. (As you may know, BCNN1 is part of GLM Omnimedia Group LLC, a conglomeration of websites and Christian service companies that is also being offered for sale. If BCNN1 is bought along with the rest of the properties in GLM Omnimedia Group LLC — which include Black Christian Book Promo, Christian Media Promo, Fresh Eyes Proofreading & Editing, St. Paul Press, Kings Highway Web Design, and others — our target sale price is $4.7 million.)
You might ask why are we selling a site and company that has been so impactful over the last decade? Here are four reasons:
1. The founder and president, Daniel Whyte III, is getting older now and wants to live out the rest of his life preaching the gospel every day as he has done for the past nearly two years without any distractions, based upon 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
2. We feel that those who are especially gifted and talented in this area of online news can take the great foundation that we have built and take the site to a much higher level very fast and reach more people.
3. The children who helped start BCNN1 and GLM Omnimedia Group are growing up and, even though they are willing to continue helping with the site, they are pursuing their degrees and other interests that prevent them from spending as much time with it as they have done in the past.
4. Part of the sum of money we are asking for the site would go toward paying off the children’s college loans so that they can be debt free.
If your organization is interested in buying BCNN1, please email [email protected]
If you cannot buy BCNN1, please consider making a contribution that would help us hire additional staff who can help take the site to bigger and better things. Click here to make a contribution today.
1. THE BEGINNING
Black Christian News Network One (BCNN1) began simply as “Black Christian News” in late 2007 under the direction of evangelist and bestselling author Daniel Whyte III (best known for his Essence Magazine national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men). The domain, blackchristiannews.com, was registered on October 21, 2007, and the website went live a few days later.
It can only be said that Whyte was led by God in the founding of BCNN1 as he was not familiar with computers or the internet at the time — and, believe it or not, he is still not that familiar with computers or the internet. He still got most of his news from newspapers, radio, and television. He was not knowledgeable about what could be done with the internet at all. In fact, the year before he started BCNN1, he thought that he had to pay for an email address.
Although Whyte did not know how to put a site like BCNN1 on the internet, God had given him a vision of what could be done and the determination to do it. His wife Meriqua was likewise ignorant of computers and the internet and she was of no help to him in the process. So Whyte began giving books to his homeschooled children to teach them how to start building not only BCNN1, but the GLM Omnimedia Group company and its network of websites.
His oldest daughter, Daniella, called Danni for short (age 16), began aggregating articles to include on the site. And his oldest son, Daniel IV (age 14), built the first iteration of the site — a simple, three-columned, black, white, and gray design. In those early days, updating the site was a laborious, time-consuming process as the site had to be updated manually. Daniel IV, who had learned HTML coding from the books his father had given him earlier did not know anything about content management systems that make such a website easier to maintain although his father kept telling him, “There has to be a program out there that does this.” But the small group of family members updated the site almost every day and it began attracting a regular audience.
2. WHY THIS SITE
In the early days of BCNN1, the site’s reason for existence was often questioned. Some thought it unnecessary to have a site just for black Christians. Several even sent emails asking why the site had to be called “black”, implying that the name itself fostered the kind of division that the church and secular society were attempting to overcome.
But, as Daniel Whyte III soon expressed, the Christian news space, like much of the secular news space at the time, was dominated by white people and white-owned and operated agencies. By default, the black Christian experience was not well-represented and, in some places, effectively non-existent. On the rare occasions when black names and black faces showed up in these white publications, they usually belonged to the one or two blacks who had been “accepted” and deemed “safe” by the white majority. Thank God, since Black Christian News started, that has changed a lot, and we give God the glory
As BCNN1 states in its About Us page, “This site would have never been created if white organizations had included the many black and Hispanic Christians who make up a huge part of the body of Christ in America and around the world. There are more than just one or two African-American Christians doing something for the glory of God and for the Kingdom of God. We feel that they should be included in the national Christian dialogue about issues impacting the lives of all Christians.”
Fast-forward ten years: The Christian community and the secular world both see the importance of allowing the voices of blacks and other minorities to be heard on the national stage. Not to negate the strides that have been made toward unity, but racism and prejudice are still alive in America — and the most segregated time in America is still the Sunday church service. Black voices have been made more prominent in American Christianity, and BCNN1 has been a big part of that.
While its emphasis on the black perspective is important, BCNN1 has become a world-class news site that includes the voices of all Christians — white, Latino, Asian, and others. The outcome has been that a large portion of BCNN1’s regular readership is actually non-black and the site receives visitors from nearly every country of the world on a regular basis.
To be continued with Part 3.