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Building Jericho: Designing a Modern Megachurch Website

by Jason Forrest, Creative Director

We were honored to be asked to redesign the website for Jericho City of Praise, a vibrant megachurch just outside of Washington, D.C.

jericho-historyJericho, which began as a small Baptist Mission founded in the basement of D.C.’s Odd Fellows Hall Association in 1964, has grown into a D.C. institution with – on its 82-acre campus – a 10,000-seat main sanctuary, a business centre with 24 warehouse stalls with 150 offices, a 270-unit luxury adult community for active seniors, a training college, Christian academy, and more.

Before we began the redesign process, we asked ourselves an important question: how does a modern megachurch function?

Jericho isn’t merely a place of worship. It is a vital organ performing outreach within the community. It is a charitable organization that utilizes their spirit of generosity to help people around the world. It is a school that educates both children and adults. And it provides opportunities for businesses and workers in the area.

The challenge was clear: how do you effectively communicate all of these messages at the same time, while staying true to the mission of the church?

Finding the Right Union of Content and Design

We knew we had to structure all of the content in an organized fashion, so that members – old and new – could find the information they needed without having to dig too deep. There needed to be a number of different promotional spaces, so upcoming events, ongoing activities and other church services could all be displayed. And when it came to the actual design, it needed to fit with Jericho’s warmth.

In order to make the site feel welcoming, the custom WordPress theme we developed included a warm color palette of golds and sky blues, as well as rays of sunshine bursting out from the main content. That motif is used throughout the site, including in promotions for Jericho’s luxury residences, Business Centre, and more.

To help current and new members easily stay up-to-date, we included a large image slider on the homepage to advertise current church events, boldly designed call-to-action buttons leading to information on church ministries and activites, and social media links for constant updates about the church.

Since there are so many things happening at Jericho, we used the Events Calendar Pro plugin to manage the church’s calendar of events, adding highlighting for special events to help them stand out on the page.

A modern megachurch has many different functions, and for it to flourish and function as the heart and soul of a community, its website has to present all of that information elegantly and still be easily understood. It wasn’t an easy task, but we’re beyond happy with the final product.

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About Jason Forrest

Jason Forrest is the Creative Director at Digital Ink. Forrest began his career as a staff designer at a futurist consultancy in Washington DC, and since then has worked for clients both large and small in a wide variety of industries. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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