A New Beginning, A New Name

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Ivan

Pastor
Our church, Maranatha Baptist Church, will either build this year or the next. We are really doing it on a shoestring, but when it's done I think we will have an attractive, functional building, God willing.

The church has a spotty past, a not-so-good reputation in the community, due to the activities of former pastors (if you can really call them pastors!). I won't get into the details, but they did a lot of damage to the cause of Christ and I'll leave it at that. I came to the church almost two years ago when they had four in attendance. In the last four months we have averaged around 30 and we are growing. God has been good.

With the bad rep, we have been considering a new name when we move into the new building, sometime of a new beginning. This is my question for you all: If we change the church's name what would you suggest for a name?

Here are a few that are in the mix:

First Baptist Church of Poplar Grove
Poplar Grove Baptist Church (okay, those two are pretty obvious)
Living Waters Baptist Church
Grace Baptist Church

We are considering changing "Baptist" to "Community" too. We have one member who would like to go with "Fellowship" to "Church". I'm not liking that much.

What say ye?
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
My vote is for Grace Baptist or Grace Community Church! (It seems like I've seen Living Waters for more charismatic churches, so that would probably not be my choice for your church.)
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
What ever name you choose, keep it short and sweet, something easy to remember and easy to say. Makes it easy to say to other people too. You don't need to announce your credentials in the name. That scares people off. :2cents:
 

Ivan

Pastor
get all modern - LivingWaters Ministries :)

lwmin.org is available! :lol:

Frankly, I'm not very modern, although Living Waters might be a good name for a larger ministry, whatever that may be in the future.

I would leave "Baptist" in the name. It's incredibly frustrating (to me anyway) to have to wonder if it's a sound church, or some Charismatic Non-denom church, when there's no identifier in the name. Just my :2cents:.

I understand what you're saying and I've experienced that same thing. However, just because it has the word "Baptist" doesn't mean it's a sound church. Saying that, I'd rather keep the word "Baptist" in the name, as well as the word "Church".

My vote is for Grace Baptist or Grace Community Church! (It seems like I've seen Living Waters for more charismatic churches, so that would probably not be my choice for your church.)

I'm not sure Living Waters is exclusive to charismatic churches. However, if that is the thinking then we don't want the name. That's one of the reasons we want to change that name "Maranatha" (which may be a "tip" word for charismatic in some quarters), some of the pastors in the past were charismatic leaning. That's what we are trying to away from!!
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
I would prefer you change "Baptist" to "Presbyterian", but that's just me. :p

Alternatively, you could name it the Grace Community Fellowship of Living Waters, Church of the Apostle Osteen, Inc.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I would leave Baptist in the name as well. I like Grace Baptist Church. Sort of has a ring to it.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
If you want to keep Baptist . . .

Grace Baptist Church or
Grace Baptist Fellowship or
Poplar Grove Baptist Church

Leaving off Baptist . . .
Grace Community Church (hey you might pick up some MacArthur devotees)
Poplar Grove Community Church

"FBC" is a non-starter. "Living Waters" sounds about 90% likely to be charismatic. If you want to really shake up the folks, how about "Westboro Baptist Church" or "Trinity United Church of Christ"???
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I would leave "Baptist" in the name. It's incredibly frustrating (to me anyway) to have to wonder if it's a sound church, or some Charismatic Non-denom church, when there's no identifier in the name. Just my :2cents:.

So if you see "Baptist" in the name of a church you think it is therefore sound? :lol:
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
In my humble opinion, Grace is overused as a name. Practically half the churches in the PCA consist of that and about three other names.

I would go with:

Poplar Grove Baptist Church. Simple, focused, and non-flashy.

What are the names of surrounding churches?
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
I would like to see a name that is a little more informative. I would suggest:

The Independent Baptist with mature Pastor (not some young non-creedal upstart), Totally Immersing with reformed leanings, God-Centered, Authority of Scripture, Trinitarian, God is Sovereign in Salvation having a Minister of Music who brings modern praise, traditional hymns and gospel music to Worship and an Annual VBS and exciting water gun fight, Church of Poplar Grove.

Of course you'll have to give up one of your 6 acres for the sign but I think it will be worth it.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
It seems like branding depends on what you are trying to do. Are you hoping to get in a lot of unsuspecting visitors? Grace Baptist or Poplar Grove Baptist seem good choices for that. Are you trying to get people to look at it who normally might just pass right over? Trinity Baptist or Covenant Baptist or Pactum salutis Baptist would do the job there.

I've never liked "community". All churches are located in a community. It's like someone feels that the church name must have at least three words in it, but don't want to give anything away.
 

Seb

Puritan Board Junior
"Puritan Baptist Church" would be original and clear. :)

Probably wouldn't get many "seekers" though. :lol:
 

refbaptdude

Puritan Board Freshman
I would leave "Baptist" in the name. It's incredibly frustrating (to me anyway) to have to wonder if it's a sound church, or some Charismatic Non-denom church, when there's no identifier in the name. Just my :2cents:.

I agree with Josh.

Grace Baptist Church is a good name.
 

ericfromcowtown

Puritan Board Sophomore
My "vote" would be for Grace Baptist Church. It's straight-forward and honest.

Both "Baptist" and especially "Church" are important names. Hiding either behind catch phrases like "fellowship" or "community" seems like shallow marketing. :2cents:
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Church of the Third Resurrection? Oh, wait that was taken in some movie.
House of the Rising Son? No, probably too culturally confusing.

Okay, serious now. I'm with you on Church vs. Fellowship - I don't like "Fellowship" at all - its like the leadership is trying to avoid being a "church" to those who don't "do church" - and I have no patience for that kind of namby-pamby-ism.

I *do* think Baptist should be left in - the move away from particularizing the name of one's church according to distinctives Baptist, Presbyterian, etc., I also don't like much.

Grace Baptist Church is nice sounding, but there are at least a dozen in Illinois alone. (and that's only the first 2 pages of Google)

Some argue that a place name in the church name is a good thing - one of the difficulties is that to call a church "Poplar Grove Baptist Church" steps on toes of
other baptist congregations in Poplar Grove. What's more, there's a Poplar Grove Baptist church in Tennessee that you'd be confused with ;)

How about:

New Life Baptist Church (perhaps too many identifications with 'New Life' OPC and PCA churches?)

Sovereign Grace Baptist Church (a different twist)

Sovereign Redeemer Baptist Church

Living Word Baptist Church

? Naming churches is hard. ;)
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
I would not use the name Grace Baptist if there are already a few churches with that name in your town. But if there are no churches named Grace, I can't think of a better name (other than the name of my church, which is Christ Church). It is used a lot in PCA churches because the meaning of the word "grace" is very dear to us who believe in the doctrines of grace.
 
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