The Scoop: In the late 1990s, Sam Moorcroft was struggling to find a Christian woman to marry. He wanted a church to help him, but none offered any sort of matchmaking services or singles mixers. Identifying a need in the space, Sam co-founded ChristianCafe.com, a dating site that connects singles with others of shared faith. Sam’s instincts turned out to be correct, as the platform has grown over the past two decades and has facilitated more than 25,000 marriages around the world.
Though many Christians want to find partners who share their faith, most churches don’t play the role of matchmaker. Sam Moorcroft found that out in 1997 when he moved to Toronto and was interested in finding both a church and a Christian woman to date.
“In the late ’90s, I attended two dozen different churches. Besides trying to find a spiritual fit, I was trying to meet someone,” he told us. “Because of my faith, I wasn’t going to meet someone at a bar or even a gym. I remember thinking, ‘Maybe I am the only one who is still single.’”
As it turned out, he was wrong. One Sunday after a sermon, Sam’s pastor asked all of the single people from the congregation to come to the front of the church. Nearly half of the attendees stepped forward.
Aiming to remedy the struggles that Christians experience in meeting others like them, Sam co-founded ChristianCafe.com in 1998, launching it in early 1999. He landed on the name ChristianCafe.com because it evokes the idea of a casual, safe meeting place, and, for the site’s more socially conservative members, a cafe is an establishment that doesn’t serve alcohol.
Right away, Sam saw how much unattached Christian men and women needed a place to meet other singles outside of the church. After all, many of the Christian singles he knew weren’t interested in going out to common gathering places because they weren’t sure if they’d find others who shared their faith.
“They didn’t know where to begin or how to find out if they had anything in common,” he said.
ChristianCafe.com has been bringing faith-minded singles together for two decades now by providing a safe place for Christian daters to be themselves — and find others who share their passions.
A Meeting Place for Christians Since 1999
Though Sam faced dating struggles in the late ‘90s, he said he doesn’t think the opportunities for singles to meet have improved in the online dating age. According to Sam, the increasing busyness of people’s lives, changing social mores (for the worse), and the oversaturation of technology has made people even less capable of forming romantic relationships.
“As technology brought people closer together, in terms of having relationships, people don’t know how to do it anymore,” he said.
ChristianCafe.com aims to change the dysfunctional-relationship culture by pairing two people who share a Christian faith and are interested in a long-term commitment. Users in the U.S. may find singles located near them, as 80% of the website’s users are in North America. Most of the remaining 20% of users are located in Anglo countries, including Ireland, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand
Most users are conservative Protestants — though the site does attract its share of conservative Catholics, as well — who practice Christianity in their day-to-day lives. Sam distinguishes “cultural Christians” from the evangelical, non-denominational, and born-again members who find themselves on ChristianCafe.com, though anyone who finds the platform relevant can officially join the site.
“We’re not dogmatic, so no member has to subscribe to the Apostles’ Creed,” Sam said. “Anyone interested in meeting Christian singles is welcome.”
Users interested in trying out ChristianCafe.com before signing up can try the platform free for 10 days — on desktop, Android or iOS. More than 3,000 testimonials on the site tell just some of the stories of Christians who married after meeting on ChristianCafe.com.
Michael and Rachel’s story is about the struggle to find a compatible Christian partner — until they joined ChristianCafe.com. “I searched specifically for a Baptist man within good distance of me,” Rachel said in an online testimonial. “And I found him. We are unbelievably happy and have (a) 4-year-old little girl named Ella to share our lives with.”
Mary and Petri, from Finland, share a similar story about the platform: “Years ago, both of us made our prayer for our future spouse part of our wish list to the Lord. He told both of us, ‘What features do you want for your spouse?’ God made exactly the same features that we asked for in our wish list.”
Privacy is an Important Facet of the Platform
In the last few years, many dating platforms have suffered from data breaches and privacy violations. Some users, especially women, don’t feel safe on some platforms because they’re worried about their capacity to keep stored information safe. Furthermore, they’re concerned that some men on the sites may not be trustworthy.
ChristianCafe.com hasn’t experienced any privacy issues and has been security-focused from the beginning. When Sam was initially designing the website, he spoke with his female friends about their online dating concerns. He had to be careful because, back in 1999, online dating was nowhere near as common or accepted as it is today.
“When I told people that I was designing an online platform, my parents almost acted like I was selling drugs,” he said with a laugh. “People would say, you’re doing what? Is it porn?”
With such a negative perception of dating platforms — even one with a name like ChristianCafe.com — Sam knew that his site would have to be safe if he ever wanted women to join.
“We went in knowing that women needed to feel safe, so we were ahead of the curve building a place they would feel safe even 20 years ago,” he said.
It has been that intention to make women feel safe using the platform — rather than any legal or privacy policies — that has kept ChristianCafe.com secure throughout its two decades in operation. Though the platform has updated its policies and safety procedures over the years, it has had to make fewer tweaks than other dating platforms.
“A lot of sites didn’t do their homework — or they didn’t care about privacy,” Sam said. “Long before the era of privacy, we had that idea in mind.”
ChristianCafe.com is a Straightforward Dating Site for Singles Who Have Faith
Sam’s idea that single Christians longed to meet like-minded partners turned out to be correct. And, over the last 20 years, ChristianCafe.com has helped create more than 25,000 marriages.
ChristianCafe.com has succeeded where so many other platforms have failed because it has focused on giving users what they want: A place to meet others who share their passion for religion. That’s why the site hasn’t added confusing bells and whistles.
“We’ll change things a little bit, but we want to do everything we can, from a psychological point of view, to give users value for the reasons they came in the first place,” Sam said.
“As long as we can offer a service to those who want to meet someone with the same outlook and the same views, we’ll be around.” — Sam Moorcroft, Founder of ChristianCafe.com
Most members prefer the standard features and easily navigable interface that the platform offers. The style fits the profile of most users: conservative Christians who aren’t interested in the superficial tools that are popular on many other platforms.
“Most of our users are from the heartland, and they see the conservative side of things. We’re sensitive to that,” said Sam.
Though ChristianCafe.com may not be as flashy as other websites, it serves Sam’s original purpose of helping Christian singles meet. While the platform has been around since 1999, it has no intention of slowing down.
“As long as we can offer a service to those who want to meet someone with the same outlook and the same views, we’ll be around,” Sam said.