Pastor John presented a formal recommendation from the elders on Sunday evening at our Family Dinner to change the name of our church from Metropolitan Baptist Church to Metropolitan Bible Church. You may be aware that this topic has been discussed throughout our church’s history. For example, when our current facility was being constructed, church leadership hesitated on putting a sign on the property because of a possible change in the church name. In recent years, this conversation has been growing once again. Last year, Pastor Randy discussed a survey done among the church body about the church name (along with other matters). In this survey, the congregation voted in favor of a change in our name.
Since this is an amendment to our church constitution, such a change requires a congregational vote for ratification. This vote will occur on the evening of June 30th, 2019 at another Family Diner. Should this pass, there will be a request for an implementation period of approximately six months.
We, on the elder board, want to affirm that this change does not alter our fundamental identity as a church. We will retain our theological convictions, congregational style of church governance, mode of baptism, etc. Nor is this recommendation intended to cast any disparity among our Southern Baptist brethren or the like.
The reasons for this proposed name change are as follows:
- We uniquely embrace our past. The church was formerly known as City Bible Church in the late 1940s. Before this, the church was chartered as City Bible Hall. The incorporation of the name “Baptist” identified our polity and theology. However, our church culture has always been recognized with a strong commitment to biblical exposition from the pulpit as well as systematic Bible teaching in all of our ministries.
- We remove all ambiguity regarding our church’s denominational status. Our church’s constitution clearly states that we are unaffiliated with any denomination. The name “Baptist” on our sign often associates us with the Southern Baptist Convention. Few would assume that we are an independent, nondenominational church. We also believe that this will open doors yet unseen for strategic partnerships with other churches or organizations.
- We distinguish our church from other churches in our immediate vicinity. All churches are unique because they have particular cultures. Our culture at Metropolitan is associated mainly with systemic, biblical exposition. We believe the name “Bible” in our name promotes this core conviction in our church.
- We emphasize our desire to reach the city for Christ. Retaining the name “Metropolitan” reminds us that we are a church “for the city.” Retrieving the word “Bible” in our name from our past is a further reminder that we are a church “for the city” as we once called ourselves City Bible Church.
You will have ample opportunities to reflect on this proposal in the next several months. You can expect to see a new proposed logo, fonts, color schemes, etc. associated with this proposed change. We want to provide the congregation enough time to digest this proposal and prayerfully consider it for the future of our church. Should you have an immediate need for clarification, we encourage you to reach out to one of our elders or pastors on staff, and they will be more than happy to discuss this with you.
–The Elder Board