Back Bay Baptist Church in St. Martin announced at the end of September that it would accept digital currencies after COVID-19 made it difficult to collect traditional payments.
“We stopped passing around an offering basket when COVID hit,” Back Bay Baptist’s Pastor Adam Bennett told WLOX. “We actually have a little basket in the back for the room.”
The church accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD coin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Die and Bitcoin cash. Parishioners can choose to either give or invest an amount as pre-set by the church, from “as little as $10 worth” of Litecoin or as much as $100,000 worth of Ethereum.
The Baptist Press reported that Back Bay is the first Southern Baptist church to accept the currency.
“I talked with a few others in the church who were into crypto, which grew into a discussion about it,” Bennett said. “Then I did some research and found that the Salvation Army accepts it. I looked into their platform and ended up deciding to use a different one for us.”
Bennett likens the experience to visiting an arcade and exchanging dollars for tokens or tickets.
“Adopting these technologies early on, I realize this is not a common thing,” Bennett told Baptist Press. “But I’m of the opinion that in 20 or 30 years, cryptocurrency is going to be a way of life and using the blockchain technology. Hopefully, our church will be leading the way.”
Only a select few other houses of worship accept cryptocurrency, according to Spending Bitcoins: The Church of Saint John the Evangelist in Goshen, New York, which claims to be the first Catholic church to accept cryptocurrency (since 2013), along with Mill Creek Community Church in Kansas, Connections Community Church in Idaho and Mountain View Baptist Church in California.