Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 28, 2010

What’s in a Church Name?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Does a church name tell you anything about the church?  I am fascinated by the name of some churches.  I often wonder if the name was chosen to reflect the nature and personality of the church.  Let me share some names with you that might bring a smile.  (By the way, I did not make up these names.  I can document the location of each.)

Of course, I was struck with the name Jolly Baptist Church.  It would be interesting if I was the pastor of this Texas church!  One of my favorite names comes from a Georgia church where a friend is pastor, Ideal Baptist Church.  It happens to be in the community by that name!  Sounds like a great place to live and go to church.  It is a reflection of this church as my friend as been there more than 25 years!

In some research Judy has done in compiling a church history, she recently spoke to a former pastor.  He is presently at Need More Baptist Church in North Carolina.  He told her the name is just right.  They “need more people,” they “need more workers,” they “need more money,” and they . . .  you get the gist!  This could be a subtitle for most churches I know!

Then there is Do Right Baptist Church,  True Love Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, Blackjack Baptist Church, and Dead End Baptist Church.  The Methodists have come up with some interesting names: Boring Methodist Church, Correctionville Methodist Church, and Happy Methodist Church

There are many non-denominational churches, as well as some with definite theological definition, with interesting names: So Help Me God, Church on Fire, Everybody’s Church, and Open Door.  I must admit my facial expression may reflect some response to names:  Splitwell Church, Lost Church, Entire Bible Church, Flippin Church, New First Church, Lonely Church, Butter Church, Mud Church, Tryus Church, Happy Hour Church, and Sawmill Church.  I recognize that some are named for their communities–but most of them seem to be an effort to communicate the church’s emphasis or desire to welcome people.

There are some churches that should not even be listed in the yellow pages!  Hell’s Church, for instance.  Yet that is a name given to a church that was abandoned and most feel it is haunted!  There is an online church with the name, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  (For that one, I will not even dignify it by giving the address!)

Of course, there is the Devil’s Church or the Church of Satan in San Francisco.  It truly is a Satanic church, and you probably are familiar with it as a creation of Anton Lavey.  Again, the only reason to check it out is to be aware.

So, is there really anything in the name of the church?  Regardless of the identifying name as to location, the simple word Church should be a definition as used in the Bible. The word in the New Testament means those who are called out from sin to salvation.  They are set apart from the world.  Though used in a general sense to all believers in the world, the name also refers to a local body of followers of Jesus Christ.

The church is not a building, though it uses buildings.  It is not an organization, though it uses organization.  It is not programs, though it uses programs.  The church is people!  People who worship the Lord, and seek to unite together in carrying out the purpose and tasks assigned by Christ.

My conclusion:  The name is not important.  What is important is who the people are and are they fulfilling their assigned commission.

”  . . . you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellows citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household . . . .”  (Ephesians 2:19)  ” . . . you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”  (1 Timothy 3:12) 

Lawson

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2 Comments »

  1. I belong to the DoRight Baptist Church in Louisiana. It was formed over 100 years ago by my great-great grandfather. He was a pastor for many years and he founded this church with the thought that he could get a group of people together who could just DO RIGHT.

    Comment by Anita — July 12, 2010 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your comment. My wife does extensive research on pioneer pastors and churches in Florida. Do Right would be top of her list if she researched and wrote on LA. Your grandfather surely had experience and knew what was needed in churches! Being a retired Baptist pastor, I understand his desire . . . I wonder, being that it was a Baptist church, if he did get people who had a will to Do Right? I rejoice the church is still alive and well. Blessings to you and the congregation!

      Comment by lawsonjolly — July 12, 2010 @ 5:30 pm | Reply


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