In our February 2018 Members' Meeting our church family voted to change our name to Redeemer Baptist Fellowship. This congregational decision concluded more than a year of consideration and discussion over the idea of transitioning to a new name. The primary reason for this transition was the confusion that the name Cherokee caused for many of our neighbors. As we talk with people who live in our area, we're almost always asked about the significance of our name and if we are are a church primarily for Native Americans. If our church still met in the Cherokee neighborhood (as it did prior to its move to East Memphis in 1979), referring to our body as Cherokee Baptist Church would make sense. Now, after almost 40 years in the Sea Isle neighborhood, the name doesn't help people understand the location, doctrine, or people who make up our church family.
The name Redeemer was an easy choice for us because it represents Jesus Christ, the Savior we treasure and follow. While we could have chosen a name based on our location, it felt like the right choice to communicate the greatest news and primary truth about our church in our name: that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of sin and made us sons and daughters of God.
The Symbolism in Our New Logo
We had three goals in our new logo:
1 - We wanted to highlight three elements that detail the three core elements of our body life together: the gospel, community, and mission.
2 - We wanted to highlight our unity in the Gospel that transcends color, background, age, and socio-economic status. The stained glass background of the logo helps depict that unity.
3 - We wanted something that connected us with our past. Even as a church replant that is experiencing new life and vitality, we want to embrace our unique heritage as a body that has existed for 65+ years and that seeks to stand in the larger historical stream of confessional Baptists. The stained glass windows in the back of our church's sanctuary originally inspired us to incorporate this symbolism into our logo.
What hasn't changed?
A new name doesn't mean that we're a new church. Our location, doctrine, and mission haven't changed. Our passion to know Christ in community and to make him known in our community hasn't shifted. Instead, it's our hope that embracing a new name will help us better engage our neighbors individually and our city as a whole with the life-transforming news of the Gospel. We're grateful for our legacy as Cherokee Baptist Church and we're excited to see what God might be pleased to do as we call ourselves Redeemer Baptist Fellowship.
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