The creation of Ambassador Technologies, a technology consulting company, came from turning a hobby into a business.
The 2-year-old company doesn't sell computers, but it offers graphic design, network consulting and consumer purchasing help.
"We've done things like consumer advocacy, helping people purchase computers," the Rev. Ron Thompson said. "We can speak the technical lingo to salespeople. We know how to speak their language, and we can make it into simpler talk for the customer."
This can be particularly beneficial for a person with a phobia about computers, he said. "They often retain us to help them get over their fears," he said.
Also, Ambassador Technologies can advise a customer on what is the best computer for his needs, he said.
The company does graphic design work such as fliers, menus and stationery and sets up Web sites.
Ambassador Technologies is made up of four equal partners with different specialties and a few contract employees.
Gordon Gibson is in charge of desktop publishing. The Rev. Terry Bolds heads networking and technological support. Frank Singletary takes care of financing and Internet research, and the Rev. Mr. Thompson handles Internet research and hardware support.
The four partners have found common ground in their religious faith, Mr. Thompson said. All are involved in some way with Rising Star Baptist Church in Youngstown.
"Our work ethic is primarily motivated by our faith in that we want to provide our customers with superior service at great value. We have no interest in gouging customers," he said.
This makes it easy for the four to work together, he said.
"We have common ideals. While our goals may vary, our ideals are basically the same," he said.
He said the partners have found a definite need for a company such as Ambassador Technologies.
"For the most part, people still aren't that familiar with technology, and they desire to be more familiar with it," Mr. Thompson said. "People are aware of how important the computer is coming to be. I've done things like help people set up computers in their homes and show them how to get the most out of this computer to the degree they want to go."