Since April 1998, when we first constituted, we have been known as Grace Evangelical Church. That name has served us well. However, over the years, the word "evangelical" has come to mean way too many things to way too many different people. When we first started, we used Evangelical in the sense of a people committed to historic Christian orthodoxy, the fundamental tenets of the Protestant Reformation (the five Solas), and the centrality of the the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to our life and witness.
While it is a useful descriptor, it really no longer functions well as a primary "noun" to describe our identity. To some, the name refers primarily to a political lobbying movement. To others, it refers to a generic form of "lowest common denominator" Christianity that doesn't have any sort of connection to history. Neither of those are true of us--as a church. While we have people vested in societal affairs, that is distinct from our mission as a church. Nor do social agendas form the basis of what unites us. While we wish to recognize the faith of those with whom we may not see eye to eye on in secondary and tertiary doctrine, we don't want to reduce our doctrine, thus our piety and practice, to just a few broad points. We are a church that is deeply connected to the heritage the Particular Baptists of 17th century London, and we think that our name should reflect that.
Thus, on February 2, 2020, our church voted unanimously to begin the process of changing our name to Redeeming Grace Church. We think that most accurately reflects who we are, and what we wish to be known for, as a body of believers.
While we have just begun acting on this, it has actually been something in the works for a number of years. A number of elders over the years have seen a need for the change, but it hadn't been the right time to act. Now, it seems was the right time to do so.
The process has just begun. However, by the end of June, we intend on having everything complete.