The Cross Free Church

In reading a novel that takes place on Lewis Island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, I laughed out loud when the author, Peter May, casually mentioned the Scottish Free Church, located in the small village of Cross, Scotland. Without so much as a wink at the reader, he described events that took place near the Cross Free Church.

Wow! A Cross Free Church. What kind of congregation would that be? No cross. Come to think of it, the Baptists of my childhood wanted no crosses in our sanctuary. Maybe we were a Cross Free Church, too.

I wondered about other towns in Scotland and around the world where the name of the community and the name of the church create some peculiar combinations. I discovered there is a Backside in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which means there is a Backside Free Church.

There is no town in Scotland named Jesus, so at least there is no Jesus Free Church, as far as I know.

However, the country of El Salvador was named for Jesus, the Savior, so I hope the Free Church of Scotland does not send a missionary group to El Salvador. If they do, they would become the Savior Free Church. Yikes!

Decades ago, W. C. Fields, director of the public relations division of Southern Baptists, wrote a funny article about Baptist Church names. Example: French Broad Baptist Church, so named because of the French Broad River in North Carolina. It was a long, hilarious article and I would love to read it again if I could find it. I can’t remember if there were Brazen Hussey Baptists or not, but there was a Republican Baptist Church and a Democratic Baptist Church. Fortunately, they were not close to one another.

There is a church in Hell in Michigan, and an Intercourse Church in Pennsylvania, a Beer Church in Devon in the United Kingdom. Those church names suggest one kind of challenge.

A totally different kind of difficulty awaits if you worship at the Boring Church in Oregon or the Little Hope Church in Texas.

I suppose I’m still waiting for the Conflict Free Church. But if I joined, well, you know what would happen…

Categories: Book Review, Faith/Spirituality, Humor, Travel, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “The Cross Free Church

  1. J. Earl

    And the sequential churches…First Baptist, Second Baptist, Third Baptist, Never heard of a “Fourth Baptist”….. and never understood the ranking.

  2. Gerald Aldridge

    Marion, I could not put “The Black House” down–what a compelling story. Much more than a whodunit! Thanks for sharing it with me.

  3. Jim Catoe

    I remember the Cappadocia Fire Baptizing Church here in Columbia.

  4. Bob Shrum

    It’s interesting how few Churches have the name of Jesus in them. Hmmmm!

  5. Hell For Certain is a church in Kentucky but for some reason they do not have too many visitors, no one wants to go there. Does their advertisement in the yellow pages read: Go to Hell For Certain, Sunday at 10 AM? – See more at:

  6. The best I have seen yet is the church sign that reads “Flippin Church of God.” The town of Flippin Arkansas was named after an early settler named Thomas Flippin.

  7. There once was a First Unitarian Church Of Kensington. A few years ago they changed the name when they got tired of people making fun of their name.

  8. In Panama City Fl. there is a church sign reads “First Baptist Church” and next to that building is another church building with a sign that reads “The Bible Believing First Baptist Church” Usually the group that leaves in a split gets a little further away.

    The Moody Church
    Chicago, IL

    Yellville United Methodist Church
    Yellville, AR

    Yoe, Christ UMC”
    Yoe, PA

  9. Living in the Netherlands, and being married to a woman of Dutch ancestry, I can tell you the Dutch women are known for not having a very prominent back side. Thus the laughter that erupted in our car as we passed Dutch Bottoms Baptist Church in Newport, TN.

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