Powerful Document Searches


The Foursquare Church is an evangelical Pentecostal Christian denomination founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in the 1920s. With its central offices located in Los Angeles, the church currently has approximately 8,000,000 members and 65,000 churches worldwide. The term "Foursquare" refers to the four-fold ministry of Jesus as Savior, Healer, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, and Soon-Coming King.

Document Problem

The Foursquare Church needed to replace an existing Information Management System (LibertyNet) that they had been using for the previous 10 years but had been discontinued. Their highest priority was finding a document management system that would allow them to perform full-text searches on new documents as well as their 74,000 existing electronic documents.

Searching and finding information is critical to the employees who work in the Foursquare Church. For example, they need to be able to search for and quickly locate information such as:

  • When a member of their church dies and they need to write a biography for a press release within an hour.
  • Locate records to show why a certain policy was adopted in the 1940’s.
  • Provide a deed to a property in the United States or in another country instantly.
  • Write a history for a church celebrating their 75th anniversary using every article ever written about them in their periodicals including a list of all the pastors who ever served there.

Document Management System Requirements

The Foursquare Church needed to find a document management solution that could:

  • Import approximately 2 million documents and metadata from the old IMS into the new document management system.
  • Perform full-text searches on thousands of existing electronic documents quickly and easily.
  • Scan and OCR current hard copy documents to make fully searchable PDFs. Nearly 95% of all Foursquare Church documentation is scanned into the system.
  • Manage 50 pallets worth of unexpected paper documents after three administrative offices were closed.


The Foursquare Church performed a thorough search of document management systems starting with a list of 40 vendors. It then narrowed down the list to 5 finalists by comparing features with their document management software criteria. After attending the free FileHold webinar, Foursquare found that FileHold met their exact needs. “When we participated in the FileHold webinar we knew it was the perfect system for us, so much so that we didn’t even bother with demos of the final two products—FileHold was that good,” said Steve Zeleny, Foursquare Church Archivist.

The Foursquare Church found that FileHold document management software met their business objectives of full-text searching vast quantities of electronic information to find exactly what they were looking for. "The FileHold support team was exemplary in their performance and we could not be happier with the result," said Mr. Zeleny, in reference to moving 74,000 electronic documents and metadata from the IMS. The scanning software provided with every sale of FileHold allowed them to continue scanning and OCR'ing corporate documents into their system, and proved that it was up to the task when they had to unexpectedly manage 50 pallets of paper documents when three of their regional processing centers were closed.

Business Benefits

Using FileHold document management software allowed the Foursquare Church to get their information in a fast and efficient manner. Since the document management software allowed the staff members to search in the way that was most efficient for them, the more advanced users were able to structure more complex and exact queries, while the basic users could query the system for single terms within a given sub-collection.

The Foursquare Church performs approximately 200 searches per day to quickly find the information they seek. Even when the search covers millions of OCR’d pages in their document management library, FileHold full-text search results are returned in a matter of seconds. Additionally, with staff located throughout the world, they are able to “retrieve the information they need, when they need it” from wherever they are through the FileHold Web Client. “Without FileHold, finding the information they need would not be possible in many cases,” said Mr. Zeleny.
Using the scanning software, they were able to process 50 pallets worth of paper documents thereby saving a fortune in storage costs and enabling them to find any document they need in seconds.

In addition to being able to digitize, upload and retrieve their documents, FileHold provided the church with one additional benefit—security. With backup copies of the documents stored safely off-site via tape backups. They know that if their central office suffers a disaster, even with 142 GB of scanned documents, they can be up and running again within days.

About FileHold

FileHold document management software is an off-the-shelf solution that ships pre-configured with user roles and an intuitive and friendly file structure that mimics the physical filing hierarchy of Cabinet / Drawer / Folders. The software installation is fast and easy compared to "platform" based products that can require consultation and IT resources often measured in weeks and months. Our document management software allows companies to embrace the "paperless office". Our standard software features and optional modules will meet your company's needs. For more information on any of our products or services please visit us on the Web at www.filehold.com or contact us at [email protected].