Why do Protestant ministers put their names on their churches?


I’ve never really understood this. Most Protestant churches seem to have the name of their pastor on the sign out front, though you never see this on any Catholic church. I look at it as being that the Church is Christ’s Church, and belongs to no man here on earth. Why do they feel the need to advertise themselves?



As a former protestant, I think maybe it has to do with differences in theology between different ministers. For example, I was raised in an independent Baptist church. When the Pastor left, some people in the church disagreed with the new one (over which doctrine I don’t remember) and left. I think if you look at two Catholic priests, you are pretty sure they agree on all theological points. Two protestant ministers, even within the same denomination, may hold very different viewpoints about important issues.


What I experienced on the Evangelical side was that the pastor’s sermon was the central attraction, so advertising his name, and often his sermon topic, is meant to draw people in.


I have never seen this done before. Maybe it is not done in the NorthEast or maybe Im oblivious to it.:o


I’ve not seen this before either.


Ok - homework for tomorrow - look at all the signs on the Protestant churches you pass and see how many pastor names you see. :smiley:



At least here in the Midwest, you don’t see the pastors’ names on mainstream Protestant churches, like Presbyterians or Methodists, as much as you do on the signs for the Bible churches, non-demominational, pentecostal, etc. churches that don’t belong to an actual denomination. Maybe that is because the pastors started up these churches themselves?


The sign in front of the church/worship center basically is telling us who is interpreting the bible and traditions. Jesus according to the_____________

1)Catholic Church
4)or… Pastor Bob


Ummm … some Catholic churches around here DO have the Parish priest’s name on the sign, although Catholic priests tend to move around a fair bit.

And plenty of Protestant churches don’t. But it wouldn’t surprise me if more of them did, since they seem to stay with their churches for a lot longer.

And if they or any priest does make such a strong contribution to that church and have a decades-long relationship with that community then why not put their name on the sign?


too funny liza, I will! I grew up Protestant and I don’t ever remember us doing it but I have seen said signs :wink: I drive by one that always has interesting topics and the pastors name.

A thought I had was perhaps in thier thinking it’s a way for people to feel more welcome if you know the pastor by his first name. It’s adds a homey feel. :slight_smile:


Would Lutheran or Wesleyan count? :thumbsup:
That right there should send up a red flag. Their denomination’s teachings are based on “man-made” traditions. And some try to put the blame on Catholics…

In Pax Christi


For the reason I stated in my OP - I believe the Church - including the building she lives in - belongs to Christ, not the man who stands at the altar. I think there is an arrogance in putting one’s name on a Church that is not “yours”.

Just my opinion - doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. :rolleyes:



Fair enough. I agree that the church doesn’t belong to the pastor. I think that that is why ‘Catholic’ or ‘Christian’ is also on most church signs, and presumably in MUCH bigger letters than, and well above, the pastor’s name :smiley: Jesus usually manages to get star billing one way or another, don’t you think? :wink:


We did that at the Protestant church where I grew up. The purpose was to attract those who liked that particular person’s preaching style.

My father hasn’t been to church in decades, but he still quotes his favourite minister.


First, I have to tell a story… When I was in the military, our NCOIC’s (non commissioned officer in charge) wife was a preacher. We used to always laugh and joke about what her “sign” would say… Her name was Mrs. Lord! Let’s see… Services by the Lord… Guest speaker Lord on the sins of the flesh… you get the idea.

Next thing I wanted to say was that our last pastor was here for over 20 yrs and the priest before him for 25 years. Our current pastor has now been here for about 11 yrs, and it seems like he just got here yesterday compared to the ones before him. The priest right before him is now the parish priest 5 miles away… he tried to retire, but was called to the church 5 miles up the road which is great because we all tend to go there at some point for mass. We also combine our confirmation classes since they have a much smaller parish.


Well, I’ve never understood it either. I know that Joel Osteen has his name in big letters on the front of his church. ( Joel Osteen Ministeries, in fact ) The only bigger name is the name of the church. Lakewood. Nothing else. (I pass by that church every other day, so get an eyefull!)


You know what I m going to look. There are alot of churches in my area. Although the signs are small I might not be able to see while Im driving.

P.S. If I get into an accident while looking can I send the repair bill to you.:stuck_out_tongue: :wink: :smiley:



It use to be very rampant here in the south. I think I will travel around and post some take some pictures of the local church signs this weekend.


Not true. Those names were imposed on these groups by other Christians who did not approve, including Catholics.


Ok on my way to the gym I passed 2 catholic churches and 2
protestant churches.

1 Protestant had the name and 1 catholic church had the name. The others didnt.:thumbsup:

So far it is equal. I will now look at signs when I go by and report back to you. Im going out again so I will pay attention.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.