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Privacy Policy

Houston’s First Baptist Church Privacy Policy

Effective date: June 13, 2022
Latest Revision: June 23, 2022


Houston’s First Baptist Church (“HFBC,” “Church,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) is a non-profit, Baptist Church located in Houston, Texas. Our websites serve many purposes including (1) communicating our values, mission, culture, and community involvement; (2) communicating details related to events and opportunities at Church; (3) providing electronic methods for contacting the church, planning in-person visits, and joining mailing lists; and (4) securely receiving online donations and registrations.

We provide this Privacy Policy to let you know our policies and procedures regarding the collection, use and disclosure of information through www.HoustonsFirst.org (the “website”), and any other websites, features, applications, widgets or online services that are owned or controlled by CHURCH and that post a link to this Privacy Policy (together with the website), as well as any information CHURCH collects information outside of our website. It also describes the choices available to you regarding the use of, your access to, and how to update and correct your personal information. Note that we combine the information we collect from you from the website, through our website generally, or offline.

If you have an unresolved privacy or information use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact us at MemberServices@HoustonsFirst.org.

By accessing or using our website, you consent to the information collection, disclosure and use practices described in this Privacy Policy. Please note that certain features or services referenced in this Privacy Policy may not be offered on our website at all times. Please also review our Terms of Service, which governs your use of our website, and which is accessible at https://houstonsfirst.org/sms-campaign-terms-of-service.

We are committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals, volunteers, staff, and others in accordance with state and federal regulations. Our goal is to help you understand what information we collect, how we use it, and what choices you have. While these summaries help explain some of the concepts in a simple and clear way, we encourage you to read the entire Privacy Policy to understand our information practices. Below is an overview of our policy followed by our detailed Privacy Policy.

  • Our ministry collects information (both personal and non-personal) to help us continue with our work.
  • We collect information about people who show an interest in our work. This includes our supporters, members, volunteers, partner organizations, and employees.
  • We will do our best to keep your information safe.
  • Our ministry will not sell or share your personal identifying information for marketing purposes.
  • We only share your personal identifying information where it is required for us to comply with a legal obligation or with carefully selected partners for the purpose of our ministry work.
  • On occasion we may also use your personal information to improve our services and demonstrate your support of our Church, for example as testimonials on our website. We will always obtain your prior consent before using your data in this way.

1. INFORMATION COLLECTION

Houston’s First Baptist Church only collects personal identifying information you provide. This could include your contact information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. We may also collect sensitive personal information, such as a credit/debit card numbers, the card’s expiration date, and other billing information if you donate or buy materials from us online. Sensitive personal information is used to process your donations or purchases.

HFBC uses a third-party donation payment gateway to process all donations. To make an online donation or payment by direct debit or payment card, you will be directed to a payment gateway that uses security features and encryption to ensure your data remains safe. That processor will use, retain, and disclose your personal and credit card details for this purpose and as set out in their privacy policy, including transferring your data outside of the United States.

Information Collected from Users Automatically

Like other online companies, we receive technical information when you use our Services. We use these technologies to analyze how people use our website, to improve how our website functions, to save your log-in information for future sessions, and to serve you better.

We and our third-party service providers, including analytics and third-party content providers, may automatically collect certain information from you whenever you access or interact with our website. This information may include, among other information, the browser and operating system you are using, the URL or advertisement that referred you to our website, the search terms you entered into a search engine that led you to our website, areas within our website that you visited, and other information commonly shared when browsers communicate with websites. We may combine this automatically collected log information with other information we collect about you. We do this to improve services we offer you, to improve marketing, analytics, and site functionality.

The information we collect also includes the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address or other unique device identifier (“Device Identifier”) for any device (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.) used to access our website. A Device Identifier is a number that is automatically assigned or connected to the device you use to access our website, and our servers identify your device by its Device Identifier. Some mobile service providers may also provide us or our third-party service providers with information regarding the physical location of the device used to access our website.

CHURCH and its partners use cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the website, track users’ movement around the website, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. The technology used to collect information automatically from CHURCH Users may include the following:

  • Cookies: Like many websites, we and our marketing partners, affiliates, analytics, and service providers use “cookies” to collect information. A cookie is a small data file that we transfer to your computer’s hard disk for record-keeping purposes. We use both persistent cookies that remain on your computer or similar device (such as to save your registration ID and login password for future logins to our website and to track your compliance with the CHURCH Terms of Service) and session ID cookies, which expire at the end of your browser session (for example, to enable certain features of our website, to better understand how CHURCH Users interact with our website and to monitor aggregate usage by CHURCH Users and web traffic routing on our website). You can control the use of cookies at the individual browser level, but if you choose to disable cookies, it may limit your use of certain features or functionality of our website.

2. USE AND RETENTION OF INFORMATION

Houston’s First Baptist Church uses your personal identifying information to better connect with you and to connect you with others involved with our ministry. We use information collected through our website to provide and improve our website, process your requests, prevent fraud, provide you with information that may interest you, comply with the law, and as otherwise permitted with your consent.

WE USE INFORMATION WE COLLECT:

    • To provide and improve our website, complete your transactions, and address your inquiries, process your registration, verify the information you provide is valid and for compliance and internal business purposes;
    • To contact you with communications and CHURCH bulletins. If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive such communications from us, please follow the instructions in the section, below;
    • To tailor content we display to you and offers we may present to you, both on our website and elsewhere online;
    • To administer and develop our relationship with you and, if applicable, the corporation or other legal entity you represent;
    • To enforce and comply with the law, including to conduct an investigation, to protect the property and rights of CHURCH or a third party, to protect the safety of the public or any person, or to prevent or stop activity we may consider to be, or to pose a risk of being,illegal, fraudulent, unethical or legally actionable activity. We may also use Device Identifiers to identify CHURCH Users; and
    • For the purposes disclosed at the time you provide your information, with your consent, and as further described in this Privacy Policy.

UNLESS YOU REQUEST THAT WE DELETE CERTAIN INFORMATION, WE RETAIN THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT AS LONG AS NEEDED FOR OUR BUSINESS AND LEGAL PURPOSES.

3. INFORMATION SHARING AND DISCLOSURE

Our ministry will not share your personal information with outside organizations that are not closely affiliated with us. Our ministry may provide your personal identifying information to third parties to process a transaction you have initiated with us. You have choices as to whether we share your personal information with third parties.

We may share aggregated Non-Identifying Information and we may otherwise disclose Non-Identifying Information (including, without limitation, Hashed Information) to third parties. We do not share your personal identifying information with third parties for those third parties’ marketing purposes unless we first provide you with the opportunity to opt-in to or opt-out of such sharing. We may also share the information we have collected about you, including personal identifying information, as disclosed at the time you provide your information, with your consent, as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy, or in the following circumstances:

  • What Happens If You Agree to Receive Information From Third Parties or Request That We Share Your Personal Identifying Information: You may be presented with an opportunity to receive information from one or more third parties. If you agree at that time to have your personal identifying information shared, your personal identifying information will be disclosed to that third party (or parties) and will be subject to the privacy policy and practices of that third party. We are not responsible for the privacy policies and practices of third parties, and, if you later decide that you no longer want to receive communications from a third party, you will need to contact that third party directly. You also may request, sometimes through your use of an SNS or similar interactive feature or third-party application, that we share information about you with a third party and we will typically do so under those circumstances.
  • Legal and Investigative Purposes: CHURCH will share information with government agencies as required by law in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements and, including without limitation, in connection with reporting earnings. We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We will disclose information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate to respond to claims and legal process (including but not limited to subpoenas), at the request of governmental authorities or other third parties conducting an investigation, to protect the property and rights of CHURCH or a third party, to protect the safety of the public or any person, or to prevent or stop activity we may consider to be, or to pose a risk of being, illegal, fraudulent, unethical or legally actionable activity. We may also use Device Identifiers to identify CHURCH Users and may do so in cooperation with third parties at our discretion.
  • Internal and Business Transfers: CHURCH may share information, including personal identifying information and sensitive personal information, primarily for internal operational purposes. We will not sell, transfer or otherwise share your personal identifying information and your sensitive personal information, except as described in this Policy.

4. YOUR CHOICES AND OPTING OUT

You have certain choices regarding how we may communicate with you.

Registered CHURCH Users may update their choices regarding the types of communications you receive from us through your online account. You also may opt-out of receiving emails from us by following the opt-out instructions provided in those emails. Please note that we reserve the right to send you certain communications relating to your account or use of our website (for example, administrative and service announcements) via email and other means and these transactional account messages may be unaffected if you opt-out from receiving marketing communications. You may opt-out of receiving text messages by replying “STOP” to any text message received. Registered CHURCH Users who access our website by using a CHURCH mobile application may, with permission, receive push notifications. Similarly, registered CHURCH Users who access our website by using certain desktop browsers may, with permission, receive push notifications. Notification preferences can be modified in the settings menu for the mobile application or the applicable browser.

5. SECURITY – PROTECTION OF YOUR INFORMATION

We are committed to protecting your personal identifying and sensitive information. Our ministry has implemented security measures, including Internet encryption software, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, and firewalls to prevent information from being compromised. Personal identifying information and sensitive personal information (including payment information) is accessible only by authorized individuals to process this information. In addition, HFBC commits to ensure that:

  • Sensitive personal information is not passed to third parties for marketing purposes.
  • Sensitive personal information is not used for any purpose unless you have agreed to the other use.
  • Sensitive personal information is not sent to external organizations other than for specific ministry/administrative purposes.
  • Sensitive personal information is stored securely using modern software that is maintained and updated accordingly.
  • Access to sensitive personal information is limited only to personnel who require access and appropriate security is in place to avoid unauthorized sharing of information.

In the event a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, sensitive personal information, is discovered, Houston’s First Baptist Church will promptly assess the risk to people’s rights and freedoms and, if deemed appropriate, report this breach to the authorities.

It is the responsibility of individuals and organizations to ensure the personal information held by HFBC is accurate and current. Individuals should notify Houston’s First Baptist Church of any updates or changes, to ensure records are updated accordingly. Updates may be made at any time by emailing MemberServices@HoustonsFirst.org.

6. LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES

Our website includes links to other websites such as social media and other platforms. We operate accounts on several social media and other web pages (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn). If you choose to click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that third party’s website. The fact that we link to a website is not an endorsement, authorization or representation of our affiliation with that third party, nor is it an endorsement of their privacy or information security policies or practices. We do not exercise control over third party websites. These other websites may place their own cookies or other files on your computer, collect data or solicit Personal Information from you. We encourage you to read the privacy policies or statements of the other websites you visit.

7. CHANGES TO THIS POLICY

We may change this Privacy Policy. If we make material changes, we will provide notice.

CHURCH may update this Privacy Policy at any time and any changes will be effective upon posting. In the event that there are material changes to the way we treat your personal identifying information or sensitive personal information, we will display a notice through our websites prior to the change becoming effective. We may also notify you by email, in our discretion. However, we will use your personal identifying information or sensitive personal information in a manner consistent with the Privacy Policy in effect at the time you submitted the information, unless you consent to the new or revised policy.

8. CONTACTING US

We are happy to receive and respond to any questions you may have about this Privacy Policy. Feel free to send your questions to:

Email: MemberServices@HoustonsFirst.org

Telephone number: 713.681.8000

Mailing Address:

Houston’s First Baptist Church
Attn: Member Services
7401 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77024