General Thoughts:

The Forgiven Theme by Scheetz Designs is a great large full slider theme for churches.   It offers modern features like parallax scrolling, which would make it a great choice for contemporary churches, though it has a professional look that would be appropriate for any type of church. Justin has integrated third-party plugins into this theme so that it includes everything a church would need (except security plugins) to create a new website.  Click here to read an interview I did with its founder, Justin Scheetz.

Who This is For:

I definitely recommend Scheetz Design‘s Forgiven theme for any church that uses WordPress to create their site.  I think it is simple enough that someone who is new to WordPress could use it.  It has features that more advanced designers would appreciate as well.  


Price: You can get this quality WordPress theme for $55.  It is a great way to create a professional church website!  Click here to buy it!

Large Full Width Home Page Slider: I really like how flexible Forgiven‘s home page slider is.  You can add any number of slides.  It is easy to create a title and description to go over top of an image.  This is all done via the slider area of the dashboard,  Making it very easy to create a professional-looking church website.

Great Customization: The Forgiven theme offers a ton of customization options via their theme options menu.  You can easily customize the page colors and add your own background image.  It also offers multiple headers and menu formats.

Flexible Home Page Layout: The Forgiven Theme offers a variety of Home Page layout options.  This allows you to create a custom homepage that is tailored to your particular style and church setting (see below).

Multiple Page Layout Options: Forgiven offers many different page layout options (right or left sidebar, multiple columns, etc). It also has three footer columns to include important information on every page.

Parallax Scrolling: Parallax scrolling is a trend that is growing in some web design circles.  Forgiven is the one of the few church theme that I know of that includes it.

Social Media Integration: I love how they have integrated social media into their design.  Icons are found in the header area which let people know that your church has a presence on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc!  Scheetz Design‘s Forgiven has taken it a step further and has integrated their own Facebook and Twitter widgets.  These widgets require you create your own app on Facebook and Twitter, but this isn’t difficult to do if you follow their instructions.

Integrated Third Party Plugins:  Scheetz Design is smart.  Rather than recreating the wheel, they have integrated some awesome third party plugins into their theme.  This means that sermon, calendar, staff and map capabilities are built into the theme.  This is smart because each of the the plugin companies specialize in each particular area and provide a robust amount of options.

Comments ON/OFF: Most churches don’t need to allow page or post comments.  This can easily be turned off via the Forgiven theme options.

Great Responsive Format: I really like how this theme looks on tablets and cell phones.  This features is built in and doesn’t require any work.


Calendar Plugin Limitations: is our preferred calendar plugin.  Forgiven is integrated with the events calendar by Modern Tribe.  This is a great plugin.   The free version does not allow you to schedule recurring events or automatically sync your calendar with your Facebook pages.  If you want to do this, you will have to upgrade to the The Events Calendar Pro and add their Facebook Events add-on.

Neutral Things To Be Aware of:

Home Page Designation: The Forgiven Theme uses a static home page, so you have to assign which page you want to use.  As stated earlier, you can chose from a variety of different layout options to tailor the site to your needs.

Multiple Plugin Installations: The Forgiven Theme is integrated with multiple plugins.  Justin has created a great little script to help you install them correctly.

ThemeForest: The Forgiven theme is created by Scheetz Designs but sold on ThemeForest.

Want to learn more about other great themes? Check out our other WordPress Themes for Churches resource, all our theme reviews, or our church theme comparison tool.

Forgiven Full Page View:


Forgiven’s Home Page Builder (Layout Options):


Brad started in 2013 to help churches get online with WordPress. He is a pastor and also operates a web design agency called Frugal Fox Design.