When AT&T, the nation's number one long-distance telephone service, donates money to homosexual-rights groups and buys ads on morally questionable television programs, what are concerned Christians who want to "reach out and touch someone" to do? Switch to MCl or Sprint, which support abortion-rights organizations and provide 900 numbers for the "phone sex" industry?

Some American households are switching to LifeLine, a conservative Christian long-distance service that donates a portion of its customers' long-distance payments to nonprofit Christian organizations.

According to Tracy Freeny, president of AmeriVision Communications, which formed LifeLine in 1990, his long-distance service hopes to challenge the liberal practices of AT&T and the other leading services by offering "an alternative that stands for biblical values."

"AT&T has long been a leader in promoting the homosexual lifestyle," says Donald Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA). Wildmon's conservative watchdog group is one of the organizations funded by LifeLine.

Based in Oklahoma City, LifeLine has gone from a $2 million annual gross income to $12 million in one year. The company donates 10 percent of its long-distance billings to organizations such as the AFA, the Christian Coalition, and other pro-life agencies. "Our goal is to put $84 million per year back into the kingdom by 1998," Freeny says. LifeLine has around 100,000 customers, but Freeny says the clientele is growing rapidly. "We're the only one that's committed to fighting moral decay."

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October 3, 1994

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