A New Name for the Brethren in Christ?

Mennonite Weekly Review, an independent Anabaptist-Mennonite newspaper, is reporting on the process to consider a new denominational name for the Brethren in Christ Church. This process was initiated at the church’s 2010 General Conference.

Here’s a taste of the MWR article:

After the July 2010 conference, the General Conference board formed an eight-member study group to explore a name change.

The study group, which includes McNiven and Hoffman, plans to release a survey about the name change to congregations in the U.S. and Canada.

After researching constituents’ receptivity to a name change and determining legal and financial implications, the group will present a recommendation at the 2012 General Conference gathering.

McNiven said church leaders have mixed opinions about the current name.

“Some feel it must be changed, others feel as strongly that it shouldn’t,” McNiven said. “Some people have said it doesn’t matter to me what the name is, as long as it helps with the mission of the church.”

He noted that the process is not easy but necessary.

“It raises some fairly intense dialogue, and that’s good. We welcome that,” he said. “Let’s get this on the table and start the process and see what the church really thinks about this.”

Read the whole article here.

It may be important to remember that segments of the Brethren in Christ Church have faced name-change concerns in the past.


About Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Father to Lucas. Husband to Katie. Prof and administrator at Messiah College. PhD student at Temple University. Member of Grantham BIC.
This entry was posted in Links and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A New Name for the Brethren in Christ?

  1. Beth Mark says:

    have mixed feelings about the name change.

    I do understand the issue in urban settings & even in Ontario churches in general, where in many areas Brethren in Christ is not a known entity.

    When my father, Paul Hostetler, was pastor of a church plant in Toronto, he chose not to include “Brethren in Christ” on the church sign. He found that people in the area thought it might be a cult or else very conservative such as conservative Baptists. Using the BIC name on the sign would have been a great barrier to drawing in people from the community. In the church itself, Brethren in Christ literature was displayed. Once inside the doors, many community people decided to continue attending.

  2. I have always thought that Brethren in Christ was an outstanding name. I don’t understand the BIC’s problem with growth but don’t think it is a name issue.
    Having moved a lot finding a new church is a challenge. You now have churches not saying who they are, so how do you know what they believe? They use names that sound more like internet sites.
    After attending many churches I am even more proud to have a Brethren in Christ background and heritage.

    • Gerald Wingert says:

      Gerald Wingert

      When two acres of ground were purchased in McMinnville, TN for a church planting, the sign announced ,”Rolling Acres Community Church.” After a two year hiatus my family was invited to move there and get the construction under way. As we made community contacts the prevailing question centered on, “Who are you?” It took some time to dispel the idea that we were not some “fly by nighters.” When we had the “church” finished and the sign installed, it read “Rolling Acres Brethren in Christ Church”

  3. Pingback: A New Name for the Brethren in Christ? (Redux) « the search for piety and obedience.

  4. Pingback: No Name Change (Right Now) for the Brethren in Christ « the search for piety and obedience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s