It was recently discovered that Bower Hill has two church names, neither of them correct! When the church was founded in 1951, it became part of the Presbyterian Church in the USA. From the beginning, we referred to ourselves as “Bower Hill Community Church (Presbyterian)” and this name is still on the church seal.
In 1958 the Presbyterian Church in the USA joined with the United Presbyterian Church of North America to form the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, and we began referring to ourselves as “Bower Hill Community Church (United Presbyterian).”
In 1983 the United Presbyterian Church in the USA joined with the Presbyterian Church in the United States to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and we began referring to ourselves as “Bower Hill Community Church (Presbyterian USA)” sometimes with and sometimes without the periods in USA.
But it isn’t quite that simple. When we registered our new name “Bower Hill Community Church (United Presbyterian)” with the state of Pennsylvania, we didn’t delete our old name , and so the state records show two churches with these names still in existence. Furthermore, when we changed our name to “(Presbyterian USA),” we didn’t tell either the state or the denomination office in Louisville. As a result, the denomination still thinks our name includes the word “United” even though the United Presbyterian Church no longer exists!
So we have to do something. The easiest thing is to register ourselves with both the state and the denomination as “Bower Hill Community Church (Presbyterian U.S.A.),” with or without the periods, and delete all previous names. But there is a potential problem. The word “Community” no longer has the meaning it had 64 years ago. Back then, it simply meant a church serving a neighborhood community. But today, it generally identifies an evangelical mega-church which is not what we are. Thus, our name may be confusing to potential new members.
We could drop the word “Community” and go with “Bower Hill Presbyterian Church” but that duplicates the initials of the Beverly Heights church. Or we could choose “Bower Hill Community Presbyterian Church.” Either of these changes loses the familiar initials “BHCC.” We also might want to add “(U.S.A.)” to either of these names to emphasize that we have not left our denomination.
Please remain in the sanctuary following the congregation meeting to take part in this discussion.