The Together Initiative Motion

The culmination of our year-long initiative to join the Evangelical Free Church of America is just around the corner! The elders have called a special business meeting for Thursday, September 29, 2022. They will present a threefold motion, including the following three items.

  • That “Living Hope Lakeport” be adopted as our new church name from this point forward, for this body that is currently known as Evangelical Baptist Church (“An Evangelical Free Church” will appear as subtext on some signage and printed communications).
  • That Living Hope Lakeport willingly affiliate with the association known as the Evangelical Free Church of America.”
  • Approve the church’s revised Constitution and By-Laws with a revision date of September 1, 2022, that includes such changes as the new church name, our affiliation with the Evangelical Free Church of America, the EFCA Statement of Faith and a number of grammatical, typographical and formatting revisions.”

Upon the passing of the motion, the leadership will initiate the logistical process for changing our name. We will be presented and accepted into membership with the EFCA at the district conference on October 28, 2022.

To learn more about The Together Initiative, click here.

To learn more about the name change, click here.

Our Church Our Name: Ebook

Our church will soon adopt a new name as part of our initiative to join the Evangelical Free Church of America. The elders are excited to present our new name and the process and rationale behind our recommendation in this ebook,

You can access your copy by clicking here.

Ask Your Questions

The elders will host a Q&A for those interested in learning more about our church’s initiative to join the Evangelical Free Church of America. The Q&A will occur in between services on Sunday, August 14, in the fellowship hall. To help us provide you with the best answers, we are extending an opportunity for you to submit your questions before the meeting. Simply click here to submit your questions. Also, please visit for more information on the Together Initiative. You’ll find a bunch of helpful information about the initiative there. 

What’s In A Church Name?

“Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy inevitably concluded that names hold meaning. Despite all of her wishful thinking, Juliet was a Capulet, and her star-crossed lover was Montague. Their names fundamentally informed their identities because their names held deep and significant meaning, identifying their lineage, pedigree, associations, and more. The denial of their names was a denial of their identities, and the denial of their identities led to a tragic end. 

As part of our effort to join the Evangelical Church of America (EFCA), our church will soon assume a new name. It is of paramount importance that we thoughtfully select a name that accurately reflects our true identity as a church. To this end, the elders have commissioned a name change team that includes Tracey Petrozzi, MaryBeth Letourneau, Kathie Miller, Erin Weller, Karen Robbins, Adam Hayes, Rob Tacker, Patsy Tacker, and myself. 

Over the past two months, the team has been considering the etymology of a church name. We have wrestled with the question, what meaning does a common church name convey? We examined several examples and concluded that church names commonly consist of a combination of the following categories. 

  • Theology (Ex. “Trinity Church”)
  • Affiliation/Denomination (Ex. “First Presbyterian Church”)
  • Tradition (Ex. “Heritage Baptist Church”)
  • Architecture (Ex. “Christ’s Tabernacle”)
  • Geography (Ex. “Mountainview Fellowship”)
  • Posture toward the world (Ex. “Open Door Church”) 
  • Metaphor (Ex. “Journey”)

Because our new name will be accompanied by the subtext “An Evangelical Free Church of America,” the team has prioritized the categories as follows. Geography and metaphor were identified as the top two categories, followed closely by theology, with architecture, posture, and tradition in a distant fourth, fifth, and sixth. 

It is the goal of the name change team to make a recommendation that accurately reflects our true identity as a church. With these categories clearly prioritized, we believe that we are on the right track to accomplish this goal. 

Please be in prayer for us as we begin the creative work of crafting a new name. We hope to share more with you in the near future.

Be A Grape

Is EBC more like a bag of marbles or a bag of grapes?  When it comes to how we relate to one another, the church can be viewed in one of two ways.  
It can be like a bag of marbles.  You throw a bunch of marbles into a bag, and they will impact each other.  They will ricochet off each other. But when you take them out of the bag, each remains intact, distinct, and individual.  When we as a church function like marbles, we get together on Sunday morning, worship together, and hear the Word of God together.  Then following the benediction, we go our separate ways, and everyone is still the same as when they arrived.
The church can be like a bag of grapes.  Put grapes into a bag, apply a little pressure, and the grapes break open and all their flavors get mixed together.  The grapes “influence” the others and become one.  They will never be the same individual grapes as when they began.  
The marble mentality grows from individualism.  Individualism is totally foreign to the New Testament church.  It is totally foreign to the way God created us. We were made for relationships.  We were made for family.  
God never intended for us to live the Christian life on our own.  It is God’s design for us to grow in the context of Christian community.  Growth comes as we press up against each other and the juices of our lives as we do life together.  
As your pastor, my heart for you is that you develop deep friendships.   You have heard me say before that not only should we be a friendly church, but a church that makes friends.  Only to a certain point, can we program this.  We can provide opportunities for you to make connections, but it is on you to follow up on those initial points of contact to make friendships that flourish. 
Here are some ways you can deepen friendships here:
Linger or come early for the coffee time between services (10:15-10:45).

Attend a community group.

Serve in ministry.

Invite someone to join you for a meal, or dessert, or coffee, at a restaurant or in your home.

Include others in something you are doing already (walking, hiking, exercising, some hobby or interest, etc.).
Be intentional in developing friendships.  And remember, these will be forever friends.