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Oklahoma-based church tracks Bible story readings

Edmond-based has begun using new technology to track how many people are downloading the Christmas story through the YouVersion Bible app that the church developed.
by Carla Hinton Modified: December 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm •  Published: December 15, 2012

The beloved words of the Christmas story are shared through song, drama and sermons throughout the holiday season:

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord,'” the story reads in the Gospel of Luke.

These days, technology is being used to share the familiar story of Christ's birth as chronicled in Scripture — and Edmond-based can prove it.

Bobby Gruenewald, the church's pastor-innovation leader, said millions of people are reading the story via the free YouVersion Bible app developed by

In fact, Gruenewald said the Christmas story has gone viral.

Gruenewald, 36, said the church has created a “Global Operations Center” at its headquarters at Second Street and Interstate 35 to track how many people are reading the Christmas story through the Bible app.

Since the live Christmas story tracker's Dec. 1 launch, more than 3.6 million people have downloaded the memorable story through the Bible app, he said.

With the tracker, every time a reader clicks on the story, a star lights up on the tracker's world map, “and the ticker grows by one more soul,” leaders said.

Church leaders said the Christmas story tracker is a twist on the entertaining “Santa Tracker” developed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command known as NORAD. The Santa Tracker helps children follow the progress of Santa Claus as he delivers gifts around the world in the hours and minutes leading up to Christmas Day.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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Visit the YouVersion Bible app Christmas story tracker or find out how to download the app by visiting

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