Presenting A Candidate Name!

This morning, the elders announced the second candidate name for our merged congregation. The previous candidate, Sojourner Fellowship was deemed too lengthy and a bit obscure.

The candidate name is:

The Church on Bedford Road

The elders felt that this is the way most people know us. It is a familiar way to refer to our congregation, and it communicates far more to the community about our commitment to Merrimack and the greater region. Whenever you’re talking to someone who lives in Merrimack about the church, they almost never know the name. But if you say, “You know, the church on Bedford Road”, there is instant recognition.

It also fits our regional perspective on ministry. Think about it. If someone is going to come to church with you from Nashua, they have to come up the Everett Turnpike. They will turn onto Bedford Road at Exit 12. If they’re coming south from Manchester, how many times have we had to say, “You can’t take the Everett. There’s no southbound exit to Bedford Road.

We chose this name for a few other reasons. Believe it or not, the term Baptist is in the subtitle for these reasons, and none of them are because the term Baptist is unpopular. In point of fact, some surveys show that people prefer when congregations identify themselves with a historical tradition.

  1. Most importantly, the term Baptist is a designation for believers. We have included it in our name but in a subtitle because we feel that communicates our commitment to the historical Baptist doctrine without crowding the name.
  2. The name “Bedford Road Baptist Church” simply doesn’t flow. It is hard to say, and we would wind up referring to the church as either BRBC (a very awkward acronym) or “Bedford Road.”
  3. What’s more, calling the church “Bedford Road Baptist Church” would place the geographic designator and the theological designator before the most important part of the name – that we are a part of the Church of Christ.

If you’re wondering why we did not go with the other geographic designator that has been kicked around – “Reed’s Ferry” – it is because people who live in the Reed’s Ferry area of Merrimack know that there are “Reed’s Ferry ____” all over the place – lumber yards, convenience stores.  We did not want our Church – part of the greatest, most awesome movement ever to exist on the face of the earth – to get lost in the white noise of a name everyone associates with something else.

Believe it or not, we’re pretty much all there is on Bedford Road other than residences. We ‘own’ the street. We’re it for stuff on Bedford Road, so if we put it out there, people will know immediately who we are.

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