A 106-year-old church in Tuscaloosa is changing its name to better reflect its core values, its pastor announced this week.

 

Scott Moore, the leader of the congregation of First Wesleyan Church, said that next Sunday, August 20th, the church will re-launch as One Hope Church.

“We want to do two things really well, we want to help people discover Jesus as their One Hope and we want to become more like Jesus every day," Moore said. "Our desire is that the name of the church will reflect those two things.”

The church was founded in 1914 as Pierce Chapel and named First Wesleyan in 1916.

(Stephen Dethrage)

The church was built on Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa but moved across the Black Warrior River to a spot on McFarland Boulevard in 1982 and have remained there since.

They've kept the same name for more than a century, but Bill McDaniel, the church's Next Steps Pastor, said conversations about a name change have been ongoing for years, and more than 90 percent of the congregation voted in favor of the reimaging in April.

The name isn't the only change coming -- McDaniel said congregants will also enjoy a majorly renovated sanctuary featuring new seating and carpeting, a new sound system and more energy-efficient lighting.

Moore said now more than ever people need to be reminded of the Scriptural messages of hope, and said the new name was inspired 1 Peter 3:15.

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

McDaniel said the Wesleyan church was founded in 1843 on a progressive social platform, including standing against slavery and for women's suffrage. He said the re-branded One Hope Church will similarly strive to teach people to see value, feel compassion and act in love towards others, as they have done for 106 years.

For more information on the church, you can visit their website.

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