New name, same beliefs: Blackshear Place Baptist changes name to Christ Place Church

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“Blackshear Place has lost its geographic distinction,” said Rick Hermann, pastor of the church discipleship. “New people moving to the area really don’t know where Blackshear Place is.”

Over the next few months, the name will slowly change in the way it is presented to members and guests, and on signage. The church hopes the transition will be completed in August, when the new worship center under construction is expected to be completed.

The decision was welcomed by most church members, with 92% affirmation after members voted on the change. But some have left the church, maybe because of it. Hermann said it was probably because of their preference for the tradition and memories of the church bearing the Blackshear name, but he is still confident in the future of the church.

“The week after the church voted to change the name, the following Sunday, we had a big turnout,” Hermann said. “Our attendance has not decreased at all. We had 47 new members in the new member class who will be joining the church next month.

The biggest change in the name, however, may be the removal of the “Baptist” identifier.

Hermann said the decision was made after the church researched and found that people who do not attend church have negative connotations of Baptist etiquette. The church has therefore decided to remove these barriers that non-attendees may have.

This does not mean, however, that Christ Place is deviating from its Baptist roots. Hermann said the church will continue to be part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“We haven’t changed anything in our doctrinal beliefs,” Hermann said. “We don’t become a non-denominational church because we don’t have a Baptist in the name.

He said the convention does not appear to have any rules or regulations on whether or not a church should have Baptist in its name. One of the pastors running for the convention presidency this year is JD Greear, pastor at Summit Church.

After more than a year of reflecting on the name change and seeking guidance from others, Blackshear Place Baptist Church will become Christ Place Church as it envisions a future of reaching more people.

“There have been a number of different groups that have talked about this,” Hermann said. “God really did bring about a consensus among church leaders that this is the direction he is leading us in. “


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