Name Change to Authentic Church
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. Luke 19:10 NLT
Dear TBC Family and Friends,
 
I am pleased to inform you that the membership vote to change our name to “Authentic Church” has passed. The vote was 22-yes and 11-no, a perfect 2/3 majority vote.
This name change represents us stepping into our God-breathed identity of being authentic followers of Jesus.
 
Authentic is an adjective meaning genuine and real that is supported by unquestionable evidence.

Church is the people who are followers of Jesus.

Authentic Church = followers of Jesus who are genuine and who accurately represent God and the Bible with verifiable evidence of His Presence and Truth in our lives.

Our name Authentic invites the world into relationship with us to examine and determine for themselves that God is real. Over time, they should have firsthand evidence of God’s love and power. Lord willing, God will use us to bring them into an authentic relationship with Himself.
 
The Elders have begun work on the next steps in the name-change process including:
filing necessary paperwork with the government, banks, utilities;
getting the new name out to people, our denomination, other churches;
developing our branding.
 
We will continue to be a part of the American Baptist denomination. Our region is called Growing Healthy Churches.
 
I realize that my comments on Sunday about the closeness of the vote and how to figure the percentage caused confusion. I take personal responsibility for that and ask your forgiveness. This is what transpired: Shortly before our Sunday Encounter began, I was given the count for the name change as 21-yes and 11-no. I did the percentage math, 21/32=.65625 and did not know how to interpret .65625. Round up? Round down? Are votes rounded up or down? I decided that the Elders needed to discuss this situation.
Then, during our Sunday Encounter, a recount of the ballots was done and an incomplete ballot, turned in the previous Sunday, was discovered. The member was asked if they meant to leave two areas (the name change and the budget) unmarked. They said they had not intended to leave those areas blank and then completed their ballot. The final vote for the name change is 22-yes and 11-no.
 
It is helpful to understand that our constitution does not specifically address how the church should approach a name change nor does it state a fixed percentage vote for all ballot items.
 
The constitution does give these specific percentages for member votes:
Elder and Deacon candidates need a 2/3 majority;
The calling of a Pastor (Senior Pastor) or the termination of the pastoral relationship requires at least 25% of the membership vote;
An Assistant Pastor, who is not an ordained Baptist Pastor, can be hired with a 75% majority;
To transfer, sell, or purchase real estate or to take out a loan, a 51% majority is required.
 
The following two sections are relevant to the name change process:
 
ARTICLE VII: MEETINGS, Section 6. QUORUM reads
Unless otherwise specified elsewhere in these by, thirty (30) members present and entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting of the membership;…
The 33 member vote met the 30 member quorum requirement. We have averaged 42 members voting at our annual meetings for the last four years.
 
ARTICLE IV: GOVERNANCE, Section 4. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF ELDERS, B. Duties, 1. reads
The Board, serving as trustees, shall have supervision over all church operations and transactions with power to act, except that it shall not transfer, sell or purchase any real estate nor encumber the church with loan, except by authorization conveyed through a majority vote of the church membership present, expressed by written ballot at a constitutionally called business meeting.
 
Even though it was not required by the constitution, the Elders believed it was wise and necessary to have our members vote on the name change. So we voluntarily called a member vote and set a 2/3 majority for the name change to pass. I interpret the exact 2/3 vote as another sign that God is leading us.
I thank each person that voted.

I thank God for changing our identity and giving us the name Authentic.
 
Blessings and Love,
Pastor Greg