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And, since the 1990s, the Internet has risen as the prime matchmaking power.

Evangelicals—a small core of them at least—were early adopters of the online dating trend, and Clark Sloan was one of the pioneers.

“God and nature do the rest.”A century after Savidge’s enterprise, faith-based matchmaking services are thriving—but online, where nearly a quarter of all couples now find each other.

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Suddenly realizing the potential demand for a matchmaking agency, Savidge reconsidered.

News of this development apparently spread across the Atlantic, leading London’s St James Gazette to report that Savidge “is thinking of inaugurating a matrimonial bureau for Christian men and women.” Eight years later the minister did launch a matchmaking service, complete with an office in downtown Omaha and a secretary.

As historian Nancy Cott put it her book Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation, “Where mid-nineteenth-century judges and other public spokesmen had hardly been able to speak of marriage without mentioning Christian morality, mid-twentieth-century discourse saw the hallmarks of the institution in liberty and privacy, consent and freedom.”The changes in marriage were readily apparent in the 1960s.

From the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960, to anti-miscegenation laws being declared unconstitutional in 1967, to California enacting the nation’s first “no fault” divorce law in 1969, the liberalization and individualization of love and marriage accelerated.

“It’s a great site to find other singles who like long walks on the beach … Products catered to the conservative Christian subculture are generally not promoted to a wide mainstream audience, which helps to explain why Colbert’s audience would have been amused by the Christian matchmaking site.

There is also a sense of novelty in going national with a faith-based dating marketing campaign.

Progressive Era reformers and radicals (studied by scholars like Christiana Simmons and Clare Virginia Eby) supported companionate marriage ideals that, theoretically at least, enhanced the autonomy of each individual in the marriage relationship.

Regardless of how much Progressive Era notions of companionate marriage changed mainstream marriage power dynamics, there certainly was a shift in American conceptions of marriage.

Currently the name most closely associated with Christian online dating is Christian

Launched by the Jewish founders of J-Date, it is one of the twenty-plus niche dating sites operated under the Spark Networks umbrella.

Still, the details made for sensational type, and newspapers across the country printed the dispatch.