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What's in a Name: Of Church Names, Titles and Prophecies

What is in a name? The wave of pentecostalism has brought with it some of the strangest church names ever imagine around the globe.  Keny...

What is in a name? The wave of pentecostalism has brought with it some of the strangest church names ever imagine around the globe. 

Kenya’s Reverend Njohi, known for ordering female congregants not to wear undergarments so as to give 'Christ' unhindered entry into their bodies, leads a church called Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church.

Another pastor, an American called Allen Parker – who grabbed headlines as he convinced congregants to attend services in the nude – leads a church called White Tail Chapel.

Apart from Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church, there are other very interesting church names in Zimbabwe. 

Proverbs of Jesus International Church, Cry Out Africa Ministries, Exodus of the Trumpet Ministries, Lively Stone Church of God and Embassy of Glory. Many churches are some of the churches. What significance does that have?

“Ministry” comes from the Greek word “diakoneo”, meaning “to serve”; or “douleuo”, meaning “to serve as a slave”. In the New Testament, ministry is seen as service to God and to other people in His name.

However, with the recent happenings in the pentecostal movement, one is left to question whether these are still ministries or mysteries!

According to the World Christian Database, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana, Congo-Zaire, Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Uganda, Pentecostals and charismatics represent more than 20 percent of the national populations.
Churches are Starting Everyday 
Church names across the globe were previously known to have derived their meaning from the Bible, inspiration from the Holy Spirit or encounters with God.

In the book of Genesis, Jacob had an encounter with God and he named the place where that happened “Bethel”. “Abraham called that place, The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided’.” (Genesis 22v:14)

Other names attributed to God in the Bible have a coherent story behind them: for example, the case where God provided Abraham with a lamb just before he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac gives us “Jehovah Jireh”, the Lord who provides.

Traditional or main line denominations like the Dutch Reformed, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Apostolic Faith Mission and United Methodist churches have a nomenclature that makes sense.

According to information on the AFM website, by “Apostolic Faith”, the early pioneers wanted to incorporate the apostolate idea in the name of their movement. This implies a “New Testament” church as described in the Book of Acts, a church as it was in the days of the apostles.

For the Dutch Reformed Church the name came as a result of the tumultuous period of Protestant Reformation when the Catholic Church ruthlessly persecuted and killed those against its ideology. This saw people fleeing to what is now modern-day Germany and establishing a reformed church movement.

The name Roman Catholic primarily speaks to two things: the church being centered in Rome and its global (catholic) outlook.

Seventh-day Adventists get their name from their belief in the centrality of the Fourth Commandment, which says the seventh-day is the Lord’s day; while adventism refers to the seconding coming of Christ.

The founder of Goodness and Mercy Ministries, Prophet Tapiwa Freddy, said the name of his church came from divine inspiration. “It is God who gave us the name that we go by. It did not come from any man’s wisdom” said Prophet Freddy.

He added that the name was not too important and what was vital was that all Christians understood tht they were part of the Body of Christ. Founder of Stand in the Gap Ministries, Reverend Margaret Mkhwananzi, also said the name of the church was God-inspired.

“We got the name of our church from Ezekiel 22:30 after I felt the urge from God to start my own work in the body of Christ which is the church,” said Rev Mkhwananzi.

Some are of the view that modern pentecostal churches are in a continuous battle for the masses, hence they craft names that stand out. That is a subject that remains very much debatable. - The Sunday Mail 

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