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At ChristianMingle and JDate, God's Your Wingman

Spark Networks, owner of ChristianMingle and JDate, is betting on the divine power of online matchmaking
At ChristianMingle and JDate, God's Your Wingman
Illustration by Britt Wilson

The ads resemble a highlight reel from a Nicholas Sparks movie: Couples twirl, cuddle, and walk hand in hand through golden fields. “Sometimes we wait for God to make the next move, when God is saying, ‘It’s your time to act,’ ” the kind-sounding narrator says. “The next move is yours.” Finally, the trademarked slogan: “Find God’s match for you at”

Mocked by Stephen Colbert and parodied in scores of YouTube videos, the $30 million advertising and marketing push has done its job, making ChristianMingle an unexpectedly popular destination in the growing online dating market. The upstart service boasts the largest user base—9 million registered users, 154,000 paying subscribers at $29.99 a month—of any of the 28 sites owned by its parent company, Spark Networks. That’s almost double the 84,000 paying subscribers of the company’s groundbreaking Jewish singles site, JDate. (Spark Networks’ 26 other niche sites, including Black Singles, Silver Singles, LDS Singles, and Deaf Singles Connection, combined generate only about 26,000 paying subscribers.)