Name of Churchesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
What do you think about AME churches which are named after pastors and PE or other persons in a local church. Do you think it is a good thing for the church future or not.
-- Anonymous, May 09, 2002
I have thought about this topic as well. Coming to the AMEC from another denomination, I found the practice of naming churches after individuals somewhat odd to say the least. Like most Baptists I was accustomed to churces with the great names of either the Apostles, Biblical topography (Mountains, Cities, etc.) or street names. For instance I am not aware of any Baptist church named M. L. King Jr., Missionary Baptist Church or Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Baptist Church. I give these examples because these two clergyman are arguably the two most influential black Christian clergyman of the 20th centrury yet no church has deemed it necessary to honor their legacy by having a church named after them.
I am more inclined to name churches after individuals provided they are deceased. Churches with the name Payne Memorial AMEC or Turner Memorial AMEC or Quinn Chapel or Tanner Chapel makes perfect sense to me since these stalwart clergymen were instrumental in helping to shape the theology and mission of the AMEC. The litmus test for choosing as a name a past AME Bishop should be whether the individual's time on the Bihsoprick resulted in documented distinguished service. The practice to name AME churches after living Bishops (I'm not aware of any named after PEs)is OK provided it is done for the right reason and not for the purpose of self- aggrandizement. QED
-- Anonymous, May 10, 2002
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't feel that it is a bad idea, until something not so favorable occurred. In one conference, a church was named after the district's living Bishop. After that occurred, two churches were "started" or shall I say "initiated" by presiding elders (with the help of pastors selected by them) and the churches were named after those presiding elders. When the churches that were started by the presiding elders were initially started, lots of financial support came from these presiding elders. However, shortly thereafter, very little support came from these presiding elders and these churches are not thriving. Now who's fault is it? Is it the presiding elder's fault who initiated the "start" of these churches (so that they could be named after them) or is it the pastor's fault (who followed along). Or, is it anyone's fault that these churches did not thrive? That is the ongoing debate surrounding this "issue". Some folks feel that these churches are not thriving because they were started for pretentious reasons. So, it is a touchy feely situation.
-- Anonymous, May 14, 2002