Contemporary Trends in Church Names

June 18, 2018

Remember when denominational names were en vogue? Remember when you could figure out which denominational church came to the city first: First Methodist; First Baptist; First Presbyterian? Remember when you could tell two churches that split: Harmony Baptist Church and Greater Harmony Baptist Church?

Those days are gone. But what has not changed is that many churches have commonalities in names. In their attempts to be different, they have become common. I went to social media and to Church Answers to learn from my community about church names. Their responses were both fascinating and funny.

  • “Point” has become ubiquitous. LifePoint. CrossPoint. Add an “e” to be fancy: GracePointe; LifePointe; CrossPointe.
  • “Life” has a new life: Life Church; Real Life; New Life; LifePoint or LifePointe (see above).
  • Tim Keller put Redeemer back into vogue. Both Redeemer and Redemption get a lot of love.
  • City Church, usually with another name in front of it. These churches can be found in the city, suburbs, and the country.
  • Christ Church. It’s simple and popular.
  • Five biggies the past ten years: Journey, Bridge, Foundry, Mosaic, and Generation.
  • Cross has made a surge. Cross Church. Cross Fellowship. Cross Roads. CrossPoint or CrossPointe (see above).
  • Simple Church. Sorry, that was a book (available at LifeWay.com).
  • Meaningful names. Impact. Potential. Epic. Transformation. Renovation. Innovate.
  • Fellowship can be found in almost any town. It usually has other words, but sometimes it’s just Fellowship Church.
  • Grace. Especially in the Reformed churches.
  • Many churches like the new factor: New Life. New Hope. New Song. New Now (I made up the one). NewPoint. NewPointe (see above).
  • Moving on up. Elevate. Vertical. Summit.
  • Not English. Pick a Greek or Latin name you remember from seminary. Eklessia. Ecclessia. Koinonia. Agape. Many others.

What are some contemporary church names you could add? Got any funny examples? Let me hear from you.

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187 Comments

  • Darrell Propst says on

    This article hit our church plant’s name twice – we are Grace Bridge in Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Kinneth Parker says on

    Then we wonder why Baptist is fading from the landscape. We need to be able to know what a church believes, it is like we are ashamed of our statement of faith.

  • In our town, we have a church called “That Church.” Just down the street is a church plant called “His Church.” The logo of “His Church” has a cross before “His,” making it look like “This Church.” So, we have That Church and This Church just down the street from each other.

  • Dinah Tague says on

    I think we’ve done the unsaved a disservice by going all over the place with the variety of names. If it had Baptist in its name you were more or less assured of what that church believed. Yes Baptist became a target but I don’t think changing the name of the church was the solution. I think we lost more than we gained. I think believers lost out also. All the baptists or Methodists used to gather together and there was a sense of belonging or connection between churches. Does New Fellowship Church know that Cross Point Church believes as they do? Probably the insiders do

  • Dropping the “denominational” name is probably a challenge for any group. But suggest dropping the Church of Christ from the sign and you will be accused of complete heresy. So, as we design the signs for the new building…”The Park” gets bigger as the C of C gets smaller. It’s a crazy world.

    • Jennifer Cooper says on

      Yes!!! The trend around Nashville with our progressive C of Cs is to do Name – A Church of Christ.

      You know, for a so-called unity movement, we sure like our qualifier to distinguish us! But don’t call us a denomination!! Lol! (It is SO a denomination!)

      Our church plant will be a Restoration heritage church (and instrumental) but that might not even appear in the name, since most people won’t know what that means, anyway. 😉

  • “Hope” is now quite common in church names as well. (It’s certainly needed in our culture.)

  • Robert Worthington says on

    As a new church plant we wanted something that was more traditional. We named the church Amazing Grace Christian Fellsowship. We do, however, include the logo of the SBC on everything so that we are identifiable as a Southern Baptist Convention church.

  • What’s the latest research in terms of the effectiveness of dropping denominational qualifiers? Are the unchurched really more likely to visit a church if such connections are hidden?

  • Dimas Castillo says on

    My daughter attends a church in Florida call “The Brave Church”.

  • Hey Thom,
    I have seen many “………..Community” churches. They leave out the denominational name; many of these are Baptist churches.

    • True. In an informal survey I did a few years ago, I asked the respondents to name denominational churches in their community. The second most common response was the “Community Denomination.”

    • Frank Riley says on

      Thom..
      Just had your article forwarded to me from one of my congregants as we are taking suggestions for a name.

      I used you as a source a few years back for my dmin on turn around churches. So good to cjom.connect again for a momenr here

  • Kevin Shearer says on

    My post eliminated “Aleithia” from the first sentence. Sorry.

      • Joe Bubar says on

        Our son’s church just changed their name from Wesleyan Church of Hamburg to Watermark Wesleyan Church.
        (NY) – reason: they have started multiple campuses in other communities. As I check the internet – seems this is a Wesleyan name of choice.

      • How common is it that a church is given a family name because of land & building donations?
        Isn’t this usually a memorial recognized in a plaque or bench?
        It doesn’t sit well with some especially when the surname is highly political.

  • Kevin Shearer says on

    One friend has (truth) for the name of the church he started. If I could change ours, it would be either Transformation or The Church of the Nations, which fits our demographic.

      • D avi d Tro ub lefi led, DM in says on

        I was on the phone with Nashville BSSB Customer Service in June 1998 and ordering literature when “LifeWay” was announced to the staffers there as then official (SBC messengers meeting in Salt Lake City). I had not seen a business name spelled that way before (compound word with second one also capitalized)–now many seem to be!

        I like: RetroActive Church.

      • What happened to our identifying
        the local church body on the basis of scriptural qualification ?
        Very simply the church’s locale…

      • We are Rice Road Community Church…located on Rice Road…simple!

      • Rebecca Crosby says on

        Love it!
        We are Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport – our church is in the Summer Grove ‘neighborhood’ :]

      • Untill you move lol.

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