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Courtesy of AP

Tennessee judge forces name change from Messiah to Mark

(Last Updated On: January 21, 2015)

Two parents of Cocke County, Tennessee, couldn’t agree on the last name of their seven month old child, so they took the issue the court for the judge to decide for them.

But while in court the judge overseeing the case, Judge Lu Ann Ballew, made even bigger decision to change the baby’s first name as well.  Originally named Messiah, Ballew thought that the name was inappropriate for a child and felt that there was only one true messiah, Jesus.  “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the judge said.

According to the Social Security Administration’s annual listing of popular baby names, Messiah is listed as the 4th fastest rising baby name in 2012.

Judge Ballew made the final ruling that the baby use the names of his mother and father, “Martin DeShawn McCullough;” the mother’s last name is Martin and the father’s last name is McCullough.

The mother, Jalessa Martin, believes the name Messiah is unique and goes along well with the names of her other two children, Micah and Mason.  She said she will be appealing the judge’s decision.   “Everybody believes what they want so I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him, not someone else,” Martin said.

READ MORE: Tennessee Judge orders baby’s name be changed from ‘Messiah’



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