Skip to content
Home » Changing A Church Name

Changing A Church Name

Changing your church name could be one of the most influential things you’ll ever do. It’s not something that I’ve tackled with my church a lot, but it’s quite a process.

Changing a church name can be a difficult task for several reasons. There are numerous legal ramifications and types of names that a church can have. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully consider several issues before ultimately choosing a new name for your church.

I have been a pastor for over 12 years and have experienced the joys and struggles that are present when starting up a new church. I have also had to change the name of a church in order to gain clarity and get the name out of legal issues with previous ownership of the name. Changing a church name is not an easy task, but is made easier with proper planning.

Changing A Church Name

Changing a church name isn’t easy. It’s never an easy decision. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re making this change for the right reason – because God is calling your church to a new name, not because it’s easier. The question you have to be asking yourself is why are changing your church name? And when you do that, it’s going to help you come up with what your new name should be.

Changing a church name can be a difficult and complicated process, but it is not impossible. Follow these steps to get started.

  1. Determine why you want to change the name of your church. If you do not have a good reason for making this change, then it may not be worth doing.
  2. Research other churches that have changed their names recently. This will give you an idea of how much time the process takes and what other churches did in order to get the name change done quickly and efficiently.
  3. Contact an attorney who specializes in trademark law to see if they can assist with the process of getting approval from the state or federal government for your new name before proceeding with any other steps towards changing your church’s name officially on paper/online etcetera within each state’s laws regarding trademarks as well as trademarks within each country globally where there are countries with laws regarding trademarks within each country globally where there are countries with laws regarding trademarks within each country globally where there are countries with laws regarding trademarks within each country globally where there are countries with laws

Changing a church name is a big decision. It’s not something to be taken lightly, and it can have far-reaching implications for your ministry.

If you’ve made the decision to change your church name, we’d like to help you make that process as smooth as possible. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1) It’s important that the new name for your church reflects its purpose, values, and mission. Don’t just pick a name because it sounds good or is easy to spell! Think about what message you want your congregation to hear when they hear your church name. Do they need encouragement? A call to action? A reminder of faith? Your new name should reflect those things if at all possible.

2) You’ll need approval from both your denomination and state government before officially changing your church’s name—and once you’ve done so, you’ll need permission from any other groups that might require it (for example: if you’re changing names due to merger with another church). We can help guide you through this process so that everything runs smoothly!

Right here on Churchgists, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on church name generator, reasons to rename a church, how to name your church, and so much more. Take out time to visit our Website for more information on similar topics.

Church Name Change Checklist


Changing a church name is a serious decision that needs to be made thoughtfully.

Make sure your church name is memorable.

  • Make sure your name is easy to pronounce.
  • A name should be easy for new and existing members to say when they meet you in person or over the phone.
  • If it’s not, you will have difficulty getting people to remember who you are and what your church is about.
  • Make sure your name isn’t too long or complicated to spell or remember (but don’t use a really short acronym).
  • Your pastor won’t like having to say “Come on, let’s go!” all the time instead of something more interesting, like “I’m going over there now.” And people might not want to write down their address if it’s too long and hard-to-spell (even if they know how!).

Choose a name that speaks to your mission.

  • Choose a name that reflects your mission. A church’s name is one of the first things people will hear about the church, and it sets expectations for its members. The name should be short and memorable, easy to pronounce, spell, remember and associate with.
  • Make sure it’s legally available in your state (if you’re considering changing the legal name).

Choose a name that will identify you with your community

The first step in choosing a church name is to choose a name that will represent your community. A name should identify the people who are in your congregation and give them a sense of identity. If you’re working with a small group of people who have known each other for years or if you’re joining another congregation, then it will be easier to choose a name that is already associated with them.

If you are starting from scratch and building up your own community, then it may be more helpful to go with something more generic than specific. This will allow you more options down the road as well as help members feel more comfortable identifying themselves as part of this new group because they won’t feel constrained by having “their name on it” right away—though there can certainly be benefits too!

Avoid choosing a “faddish” name.

A “faddish” name is a name that seems to be popular right now, but won’t stand the test of time. This is most common when churches choose a name with an acronym or one that sounds trendy, like “Grace” or “Truth.” The reason these names don’t hold up over time is because they aren’t primarily focused on Christ. They are primarily focused on whatever else you’re named after (Jesus’ grace or truth).

If you’re going for something like this, keep in mind that it’s usually more effective to insert your focus first and then add something else afterward rather than start with some catchy phrase and hope people remember what it means later down the road.

Remember acronyms and abbreviations.

  • Remember that acronyms are a type of abbreviation. An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters or syllables of other words and pronounced as a word, such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or radar (radio detection and ranging). Abbreviation is any shortened form of writing, but usually refers to shortened words or phrases. An abbreviation may consist of letters and numerals, such as Dr., Mr., Mrs., St., Ave., Blvd., 1st St., 2nd Ave.—or it may be spelled out in full when read aloud—as in “First Street” rather than “1st Street”; “Fifth Avenue” rather than “5th Avenue.”
  • Be sure that your church name does not imply any other meanings before adopting it for use! Names like “First Baptist Church” can cause confusion for those who might think it is an African American congregation because the word “Baptist” has been associated over time with primarily black churches’ names.
  • If possible choose a name that can also function as an acronym or abbreviation so people will remember how to spell it without having to read every letter every time they see it! For example: LifeBridge Christian Church could be shortened down simply by using two letters—LBCC—which would make remembering easier on everyone involved!

Consider names that reflect your history or legacy.

If you are considering a name change, consider names that reflect your history or legacy. A name change may be necessary for a number of reasons, but if you have been around for 50 years or more and want to honor your history and legacy, here are some ideas to consider:

  • What is the history of the church? If it has been around for several years or decades, consider honoring its history by incorporating one of the following into the new name:
  • Pastor’s last name (e.g., Smith Memorial Church)
  • Name of previous pastor(s) (e.g., First Presbyterian Church)
  • Location (e.g., Baptist Church at Main St.)

A new name may be necessary but it should be done thoughtfully

If you are considering a church name change, there are a few things to consider. Your congregation’s new name should be:

  • Memorable: Having a memorable name will help people identify your church as an organization and distinguish it from other churches in the area.
  • Meaningful: The new name should reflect your mission, values and community in some way. It could also be tied to history or legacy of the church if that is appropriate for your situation (i.e., if you are retiring an old name).
  • Consistent with your mission: A good rule of thumb here is that if someone outside of the organization does not have any idea what your purpose is after hearing about it once over coffee at Starbucks then perhaps they would not understand what “XYZ Church” stands for either!

reasons to rename a church

If you want to have a major change management issue in your church, try proposing a new church name. Church members can be very attached to the current name of your church, and changing it can be a challenging process.

In this post, I offer the “why” behind a change in the name of a church. Let me be clear, I am not offering my opinion or assessments of these motives. I am simply sharing them as reported to me by church leaders. Additionally, these six reasons are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  1. To create a clear or new priority. The most common church name in the United States is “First Baptist.” When church members originally chose that name, they had two priorities to communicate. First, the name communicated that the church was doctrinally or denominationally connected to Baptists. “First” emphasized that the church was the first church with the name “Baptist” in its respective community. As another example, churches that have “community” in their name often desire to emphasize their priority and presence in the community.
  2. To change a geographical distinction that is no longer relevant. As an example, 12th Street Church was started, obviously on 12th Street in the community. Most likely, most people in the community knew the location of 12th. But later the municipality changes the name to Martin Luther King Drive, and 12th Street no longer exists. Church leaders decide they don’t want a church name for a locale that can no longer be found.
  3. To identify with the community more clearly and emphatically. If a church changes its name from First Christian Church to the Church at Spring Hill, it is making a very clear statement that the church exists in Spring Hill and for Spring Hill. The community is thus the emphasis.
  4. To avoid confusion with another church. I know of at least two examples of churches that have the identical names of “First Baptist.” There are probably some fascinating stories behind this predicament. One of the churches may decide to change its name to avoid the obvious confusion.
  5. To do a de facto relaunch. I did a consultation several years ago at a church in the South. When I did a community survey, I learned that the church had a terrible reputation in the community. They were known for their church conflicts, for their inward focus, and for their coldness to outsiders. But the church had changed as many malcontents had exited. Still the negative reputation remained. I made the rather radical recommendation that they actually “close” the church for a month and relaunch it under a new name.
  6. To reflect the merger with or acquisition by another church. Church mergers and church acquisitions are becoming more common. Often the acquired church will change its name to better reflect its new identity with the acquiring church.


I hope this article has been helpful for you. If your church is considering a name change, I recommend that you take your time to explore all the options and do some careful research about which name would be best for your church. The process of changing a church’s name is often long and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming if you follow these steps. I wish you the best on your journey!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *