This ministry came into being in December of 1997 as an AOL homepage called “Godly Intimacy In Marriage.” Our original goal was to offer thoughts, teachings and information on a range of marital matters, including sex. We began with a section on sexual biology, because we received so many questions about this, and saw that many problems were rooted in a lack of understanding of sexual biology. But the biology section did not slow the sex related questions, it increased them! There was, and still is today, a hunger for information about sex which is biblically sound and scientifically accurate, and once we opened that door people wanted more.
By late 1998 we realized the ministry was, and would continue to be, first and foremost about sex. In recognition of this, we became The Marriage Bed, first as a web site on our local ISP and then at our own domain. In September of 1999 we started The Marriage Bed interactive e-mail list, fulfilling our several year desire to offer a safe place for married Christians to discuss sex.
The growing popularity of the web site increased the cost of providing the site, slowly stretching what was a “spare time, spare change” ministry. In early 2002, TMB became a non-profit corporation, formed a board of directors, and filed several pounds of paper work with all kinds of folks. We became a division of the AEA (American Evangelistic Association Inc.), providing us with financially accountability, making donations to The Marriage Bed tax deductible. As the year progressed we joined the American Association of Christian Counselors, and were both ordained by the AEA. TMB began to collect donations to cover costs, and moved toward providing Paul and Lori with some income for the increasing time they were devoting to the ministry.
The board of directors is in control of the ministry, and Paul and Lori answer to the board. The board members are:
President – Mindi Harless
Vice President – Paul Byerly
Secretary/Treasurer – Lori Byerly
Director – Rev. Dale Kaufman
Director – Rev. Eric Harless
In addition to the board, we have an oversight group which makes policy for, keeps an eye on, and handles all disputes on the message forum.
In 2007 Paul and Lori began collecting support for themselves so that they could move into full time ministry.
As of July 2012 the web site has more than 150,000 unique visitors any given month. Our daily tip e-mails The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband are 14,000+ and 7,000+ members respectively. We continue to update and add articles to the web site, we answer private e-mails, and we have completed paperback versions of The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband.