Located on Main Street in Newhall, Elevate Church maintains a persistent and encompassing social media presence, providing live-streamed services for the faithful in Santa Clarita and beyond.
Creative Pastor Felicia Reynozo, who has worked at the church as a social media leader for the past six years, said Elevate has made itself more tech-driven. Initially, it began sharing posts and using hashtags to expand the congregation. By 2013, Reynozo began working at Elevate and was assigned with using any live-stream services at her disposal, including through Facebook and YouTube.
“It’s always been present with us,” Reynozo said. “When I was archiving content from 2011 and 2012, we put everything up. We always put the word out through social media. We used to rely heavily on postcards, flyers passed out as well. We were big on print, but for the last three years we’re pushing technology and spreading the word that way.”
Over the last year, social media use by the church during Sunday services took off.
“At first, we went from 10 people online to end on 2,000 plus who’ve tuned in,” she said. “It’s growing. We look through our Facebook comments and offer prayers online, hosting our page while we’re hosting services.”
The highest number of views – which also include clicks opening the window and shares – was noted at around 3,000. Reynozo said they found commenters and viewers coming from accounts as close as Chicago and as far as Germany. They “didn’t know this church in Newhall had such an impact,” Reynozo said. Some viewers from outside the state or their relatives have even made their way to Elevate, she added.
“There’s some amazing stories about changing (viewers’) lives through live-streams, so it’s been awesome to see what it’s done in six years,” she said.
The platform spread with the hope of reaching out to people in the community who were unable to attend due to other responsibilities, Reynozo said, from helping busy parents to congregants in the hospital.
Other than Sunday services, the website expanded and an app was launched. Their live-streaming capabilities expanded for Elevate Nights, nights of worship set for the first Wednesday of each month.
“People,” she said, “find hope through our media.”