Rev. Nicholas Richards says his latest venture, Roho, a digital platform for on-demand sermons, was inspired by a Jack Daniels commercial.
“I watched a sermon on YouTube at the end of 2014 and mid-sermon, a Jack Daniels commercial appeared. I had a problem with it,” Richards told Rolling Out. “There was no space for really great Black religious content.
Roho lends its name from Swahili, where the word means, spirits. The app and website are filled with video content from Black religious figures like T.D. Jakes and pastor Otis Moss. Since its inception in November 2015, Roho says that over 1 Million sermons have been watched.
Richards left a position at Harlem’s esteemed Abyssinian Baptist Church to launch the app, which he says is helping Black clerics nationwide.
“The church has been really supportive in this transition and move. Some of my first investors are church members. I started to speak with preachers across the country and learned they were placing their sermons on YouTube and weren’t getting anything from it.” Richards said.