As you drive around the American South you can’t help noticing the old fashioned Baptist churches are ditching their Baptist label. Reassuring brick churches with classic style porches and steeples used to be called “First Baptist Church” or “Second Baptist Church” or “North Road Baptist Church” or maybe something with an Old Testament link like “Ebenezer Baptist Church” or “Mount Zion Baptist Church” or the ever faithful “Calvary Baptist Church.”

But the word “Baptist” is gone and they’ve all started to re-brand themselves. The old neon signs that said “Jesus Saves” or “God Loves You” are gone.

I think they must be trying to compete with the cool big box churches in the suburbs that have credit card swipe gadgets in the pews, Starbucks in the lobby, flat screens, dry ice machines, a rock band and go go dancers.

So the pastors get an up to date logo and a new name. I noticed a local church that was called something ordinary like “North Street Baptist” is now “North Street Fellowship”. That is a rather tame re-branding. A few months ago they chucked it all and were calling themselves “Lifesong.” or some such.

This was, for a time, a suburban phenomenon, but I notice that it is moving out to the little country churches too. Where once a shabby, but picturesque sign pointed to the “Beulah Faith Baptist Church” you might see it replaced with a slick new sign and logo that says, “BFB” or “Faith Church”.

I like the ones with  with ‘creative’ spiritual sounding names.

I’ve spotted:

  • Cornerstone
  • Fresh Spring
  • Living Water Fellowship
  • The Heritage
  • The Vineyard
  • Carpenter’s Church (70s music maybe?)
  • New Spring
  • Flame Fellowship

Then there are the ones that have mysteriously cool hip hop names:

  • Elevate
  • Velocity
  • The Edge
  • Spark
  • Matrix
  • Volt
  • WaveWalkers

This led to some creative church naming of my own. I’ve come up with these for Pentecostal churches:

  • HotWings
  • Hearts of Fire
  • HeartBurn
  • Winds of Flame
  • Breaking Wind

For Baptist Churches what about:

  • Running Water Church
  • The Fount
  • Gusher
  • Immerge
  • Over Head
  • All In
  • Dunkin…(this is the one that serves donuts after church)

In a post some time ago I mused that perhaps the Catholic churches ought to jump on the bandwagon and re-brand ourselves. After all, we’re sooooo uncool. I mean we’re two thousand years old. C’mon man. We have to get with the times, right?

So here are some names of Catholic churches and some ideas on how they could be re-branded:

  • St Peter’s – The Rock
  • Our Lady of the Rosary –
  • St John’s – BeLoved
  • Prince of Peace – PeaceMan
  • St Therese of Lisieux – ARose
  • St Mary’s – Virge
  • St Anthony’s – ATone
  • St Elizabeth Ann Seaton – The Seat

You get the idea…