Founder’s Feature: Crystal Cheatham
Making faith inclusive through tech
Growing up in an ultra-conservative family allowed Our Bible app founder Crystal Cheatham to enjoy her childhood and “stay out of trouble.” But when she left for college and began experiencing life outside her protective bubble, she started to recognize “the holes in the dogma” she had been taught. It also became clear that she was a lesbian.
Coming out meant alienation from her home church and, for a time, her faith. “There wasn’t a place for me anymore.” Cheatham says, who calls herself a “queer faith organizer.”
Those remembered feelings of isolation and exile led Cheatham to develop Our Bible. The idea was an extension of her LGBTQ Christians advocacy. She wanted to create an easily accessible resource for those who feel disconnected from mainstream religion. An app seemed the perfect product so she turned to a developer to help execute. Start-up capital was raised through crowdsourcing to the tune of $20,000.
Our Bible’s slogan is “Uplifting Believers of All Stripes”.
The app offers access to 20-plus different Bibles, 300 affirming devotionals and passages, podcasts, vlogs, and a chat function to help build community.
“Our Bible stresses that religion isn’t about following a set a rules or being evil, it’s about developing your own personal relationship with God,” Cheatham says. “Most importantly, this is a place where you will be acceptance. Whom you love and who you are won’t affect that.”
Even better? The app, which debuts this fall, is absolutely free.
“We’re seeing a shift in how people practice their faith and Our Bible is here to embrace that change,” Cheatham says.
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