NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The United Methodist Church this month started its first television advertising campaign to draw new members to the Protestant denomination.
Dubbed ''Igniting Ministry,'' the campaign features ads on 15 national cable networks and CBS.
''We know that TV ads alone won't bring people to church,'' said the Rev. Steven Horswill-Johnston, Igniting Ministry director. ''But they will support United Methodists in every community who are making a special effort to welcome people in the name of Christ.''
Each TV ad tagline will invite people to visit the Web site, www.unitedmethodist.org, which is aimed at nonmembers and contains simple descriptions of the denomination, along with a church locater.
The United Methodist General Conference has authorized about $20 million for the four-year campaign.
Local churches will build on the TV ads by advertising on billboards, in newspapers and on radio. More than 20,000 United Methodists underwent training to welcome newcomers.
The United Methodist Church has 8.4 million members and is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
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