More “blended denominations”! In the last 50 years, Christians have felt more and more free to move between denominations. Sometimes these folks make up new denomination names to describe their colorful church background!
Previously I posted a long list of blended denominations. And here are three more: methobapterian, pentebaptist, and baptimethocostal. Two out of these three are triple denominational labels! There are dozens of “double” denomination blends, but these “triples” are like hen’s teeth—very rare indeed.
What’s the allure for Christians to invent these blended denomination names? I think the answer is twofold:
First, people are by their very nature playful and creative. That’s why wordplay predominates in Christianese or any other slang language. People enjoy communicating with each other, and they like to have a good time while doing it. Wordplay (such as combining two or three words into a single word) lets you say something and say it with a smile.
Second, people like to give details about their back story. When people talk, they like to open up and share the details of their life. Sure, a person could just say that they’re a denominational mutt (or Christian mutt), and by that you would know that they’ve got multiple denominations in their background. But if that person were to tell you that they’re a methobapterian (for example) then you would immediately know that they have roots in the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches. If you have roots in any of those churches too, then right away you know that there’s a common connection.
Me personally, I grew up Roman Catholic (a cradle Catholic, as the saying goes), then attended a Methodist church, a nondenominational church inspired by the Vineyard, then a charismatic church, and then a missional/emerging church. Lately I’ve been back at a Methodist church. Would that make me a Cathomethovinematicmissomethodist? Only God knows.
Do you know of any blended denomination names that I haven’t posted about yet?
methobapterian n. [Methodist + Baptist + Presbyterian] A Christian who identifies with aspects of the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian denominations; a Christian who attends (or has attended) churches in these denominations.
• 1942 Jacobs William Plumer Jacobs: Literary and Biographical 52 : The recent efforts on the part of the Presbyterians and Methodists in Canada to unite in one body remind us of the Union Choir in those good old times. The choirs of the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches were used by each other on all occasions. We called it the Methobapterian choir. 1970 Evergreen XIV. iss. 80–85 37 : Now me, I’m a good Methobapterian/Every Sunday I drag my wife and my hangover/Over to church and sit for an hour. 1989 Rainey Lonely Husbands, Lonely Wives: Rekindling Intimacy in Every Marriage 45 : Barbara and I did not have a great deal of trouble with differences in religious background, but many couples do. You can ask some people, “What’s your church preference?” and they’ll answer, “red brick.” Put a husband like that together with a wife who grew up in the same “Methobapterian church” attended by her parents and her grandparents. 1996 Preservation: The Magazine of the National Trust for XLVIII. iss. 4–6 26 : Kitty Harrison is a divided soul. The self-described historian of Gainesville, Alabama, calls herself a “Methobapterian” because she attends services at all three of her hometowns 19th-century clapboard churches to boost attendance. 2004 Lay Renewal Ministries The People Tell the Story 173 : Since their marriage 16 years ago Lizanne Lawrence, a lifelong Presbyterian, and Bill, a Baptist preacher, have participated in many Methodist Lay Witness Missions. They now cheerfully refer to themselves as “Methobapterians.” 2008 Peery Town Between Two Rivers xiv : We have been members of American Baptist churches, Southern Baptist churches, a Presbyterian church and a Bible church. We are at home in most churches. We claim to be “generic” Christians. My husband sometimes says we are “methobapterian.”
pentebaptist n. Also pentabaptist; penta-baptist. [Pentecostal + Baptist] A Christian who identifies with aspects of the Pentecostal and Baptist denominations; a Christian who attends (or has attended) churches in these denominations.
• 2002 Moore Christianese: The Language of the Believers 111 : Neo-Pentecostals (i.e., Baptist, Baptistcostals, Pentebaptist, etc.) … generally state that, while they are remaining in the governing administrative structure of their denomination, they have had an experience with the Holy Spirit that has changed their style of worship and theological view point. 2003 christiansunite.com (19 Sep.) : My Church his officially joining the CEC [=Charismatic Episcopal Church] pretty soon here. We need prayer. Just keep us in mind, this will be confusing for some of the people, seeing as most of the people are “Pentebaptists” Most of the people seem receptive, but we still have a few weeds that we are worrying mind stir up trouble. 2004 christianforums.com (28 Jul.) : I want a godly wife … who’s basically a pentecostal woman, Spirit-filled, But not some crazy off the wall one … one who’s like me, more a Bapticostal or a PenteBaptist. 2005 gina4jesus.xanga.com (30 Dec.) : Pentabaptist or Baptacostal? I guess we could be nondenominational. 2006 guardianspirit.blogspot.com (29 Jan.) : My dad took us to church (most of the time it was an Assembly of God (pentecostal) church; we also went to some charismatic non-denominational churches) off-and-on over the next 14 years. While visiting my mom (for a few weeks every summer) and while living with my mom (for the last half of my senior year), we went to Central Baptisit Church with her. So I guess you could say I was raised Pentebaptist. 2008 christianforums.com (10 Jun.) : “Nobody mentioned the Bapticostals!” “You mean Pentabaptists!” 2009 blackchristiannews.com (26 Sep.) : The Rev. Apolonio “Sonny” Castilleja is still searching for a name that properly describes the blended congregation he’s now leading. “Pente-Baptist” and “Bapti-costal” are the current front runners, joked the 59-year-old, who is pastor of both Trinity Baptist Church and Agape Christian Church, a Hispanic Pentecostal Christian fellowship. 2012 onlinebaptist.com (30 Oct.) : I am a Bapticostal or a Pentabaptist whichever you prefer. 2013 internetmonk.com (24 Jul.) : The term PenteBaptist is a new one on me. Around here (the American South) people of that persuasion call themselves Bapticostal.
baptimethocostal n. [Baptist + Methodist + Pentecostal] A Christian who identifies with aspects of the Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal denominations; a Christian who attends (or has attended) churches in these denominations.
• 2006 christianforums.com (17 Aug.) : We’re working on founding a mission here, but it’s kinda tough in a relatively small town in baptimethocostal land. 2008 Cincinnati Mag. (Jul.) 130 : A self-described “BaptiMethoCostal,” Jones was born in North Carolina but raised off and on in Middletown, where she graduated from Middletown High School. Her father is Baptist, her mother Methodist, and one of her grandmothers was a Pentecostal evangelist. 2011 jacksonfreepress.com (30 Nov.) : If you need to label me, just call me a Bapti-metho-costal. I am unapologetically one-third Baptist, one-third Methodist and one-third Pentecostal. Though I’ve also encountered other beautiful traditions (among them Jewish, Buddhist, Eastern Orthodox and Episcopalian), these three religious cultures have dominated my Christian formation.