Christian Devotions Ministries was conceived by cofounder Eddie Jones in 2007 but the seeds of the ministry were born a couple years earlier.
In April of 2005, Jones attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference where he met his soon-to-be ministry partner and CDM cofounder, Cindy Sproles. After Sproles heard a keynote speaker make a comment about “writing for the neighbor next to you” she began to faithfully write a devotion every day.
In the summer of 2007, Jones, having attended the Blue Ridge conference again in 2006 and 2007 (as did Sproles) sat under his willow tree reading his daily devotion. It was then he heard God whisper: “ChristianDevotions.com.” Since he was a web designer, Jones knew how to register domain names. But Jones also forgets things sometimes, and that day he forgot God’s whisper. Once more God nudged him. Once more Jones forgot. At the third nudge Jones went to his office, looked up the domain and found ChristianDevotions.com was taken. Spending ten bucks, on August 8, 2007, he registered www.christiandevotions.us.
In the fall of 2007, with the site live, he asked if Sproles if she would like to publish some of her devotions to the site. Due to her faithful obedience to God’s call since the spring of 2005, she had hundreds of devotions. She agreed to “share” her devotions with the ministry but only if Jones would also begin to write devotions. Thus a ministry to help authors publish their devotions began with God’s whisper, a comment from a keynote speaker, and a headstrong woman named Yvonne Lehman who years earlier decided to start a writers conference for Christians.
The two placed personal devotions on the site periodically for a year. In 2008 Sproles pitched the idea of He Said, She Said devotions to Jones. The premise was one scripture, two perspectives – His and Hers, neither right nor wrong. But two unique ways to study God’s word. Eddie agreed and together he and Cindy began to weekly post He Said, She Said Devotions. Both Jones and Sproles had an email subscription list so they combined them and began to email the devotions. By December of 2008, the two wondered if this was a ministry or if it was something they were doing for their own glory. Jones pulled the analytics of the site and found less than one hundred people had visited the site. The two agreed to pray with their spouses for one month, meet, and decide if they felt God was calling them into ministry. In January the analytics were checked again and the visits to the site had grown from under 100 to nearly 1000.
Jones and Sproles decided this was confirmation their work was becoming a ministry. They attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in May of 2008 and met Terri Kelly, their first contributing author. Next came Pat Patterson and Emme Gammon. Writers began to contact the two and the devotional site went from posting five days a week to posting 7 days a week. On April, 23, 2009, Jones and Sproles officially agreed to take the step of faith and develop Christian Devotions into a true ministry with its own non-profit status.
On March 1, 2010, Christian Devotions Ministries received their 501(c)3 non-profit status. The ministry grew. Christian Devotions SPEAK UP!, the ministry’s blog talk radio show, began with Marianne Jordan as host. Jordan built a solid foundation under the radio show and when its legs were strong, she passed the reins to Scott McCausey. McCausey has continued to grow the show, bringing it into syndication.
Terri Kelly came aboard as the first editor of the children’s ministry site, www.devokids.com, again building a solid foundation beneath the site and passing it on to Renee McCausey and Sandra Hart. God willing and with prayer, DevoKids will soon have its own app for children. Cindy Scinto took on editorship of a fledgling site for teens, also building it and then passing it to Cyle Young for continued growth.
Over the years Andrea Merrell, Laura Poole, and Becky Hillman stepped into editing positions for Christian Devotions, keeping the sites fresh and error free (except when JOnEs gains access :). Currently Martin Wiles serves as Managing Editor and Cindy Sproles remains the Executive Editor.
In 2009 Christian Devotions moved into book publishing, launching Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This business was privately owned by Jones and his wife, but considered a vital part of Christian Devotions Ministries. For a decade LPC helped new authors release their first title and grow their writing career. In September of 2019 Jones sold LPC to Iron Stream Media.
Soon after we became a non-profit, Christian Devotions Ministries purchased Inspire A Fire from Gina Holmes. Inspire A Fire is our online features magazine.
In August, 2021, the ministry launched BookDeals.app, a website / app where Christian readers and authors connect.
Since its beginning Christian Devotions Ministries has connected authors, editors, and agents through — at first — informal gatherings and later the ministry’s own writers conference. Today the Asheville Christian Writers Conference meets each February at the Billy Graham Conference Center at The Cove in Asheveille, North Carolina.
Throughout the years, this ministry has seen over 75 faithful volunteers who have helped us grow the work. But the success and glory belongs solely to God. For this is HIS ministry and we are simply the tools.
We believe a devotion may be someone’s only Bible for the day, and if we can place that devotion into their hands, plant the seed. . .then God can water and cultivate His love in the heart of that person.
People often ask how we run the ministry, where we get our funding, what’s our annual budget. Our answer is always the same: God provides.
“Yes, i understand,” they reply, “but I’m asking how you pay the bills?”
We answer, “God provides.”
If he guides, he provides, When he moves, we move with him — or try. There is no paid staff at Christian Devotions Ministries. Like the first century disciples, all contribute time, talents, and funds as led by his Holy Spirit.
If you hear God whispering, “You could do that,” email Cindy. She’ll put you to work. – Eddie Jones