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Southwest Orange Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 4 years ago

Now praying: Church at the Cross

First Baptist Church of Central Florida has introduced a name befitting its towering symbol.
by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

WEST ORANGE COUNTY  Director of Communications Adriel Hernandez is as excited as everyone at First Baptist Church of Central Florida about its new name, Church at the Cross, after the giant monument on the property visible from miles away.

But don’t call it a name change.

“We’re still officially First Baptist Church of Central Florida,” Hernandez said. “Church at the Cross is a DBA — Do Business As.” 

The main reasoning behind that new name is simple: location, location, location.

“When we say where we are at, pre-Church of the Cross, ‘We’re at First Baptist Church Central Florida,’ Central Florida is such a broad area that you really then have to go into details and explain where the church is,” he said. “‘You see where that cross is at, right off (state roads) 408 and 50? We’re the church at the cross.’ So it just happened for so long, that it just makes sense to utilize a new name.”

Although the moniker seems as if it arose overnight, elders, trustees, deacons and church members all voted on the new name during a lengthy period of consideration, Hernandez said.

“The moment was now,” he said. “We’re focused on reaching the lost. We’re focused on that potential visitor to find a church to be comfortable in, that they could grow in spiritually, so there’s no time better than the present.”

And the reach has grown immensely: a 98% bump since August on the myriad social media church staff is on and a 1,400% increase in Internet traffic, Hernandez said.

But officials have been prepared for a time of expected growth.

“The ultimate goal is to build a new sanctuary,” he said. “That’s been in the plans for several years now. Right off the foot of the cross we’ll have essentially our new worship center. We’re still a couple years away.”

Repurposing spaces all over the campus has occurred, too, such as turning a library into a cafe and game room with reaching youth in mind, Hernandez said.

On the note of youth, Central Florida Christian Academy, a ministry of FBCCF, is not slated for any sort of added brand or name change at this time, he said.

“The school is experiencing tremendous growth — we’ve had a really good enrollment this year here, better than the last couple years,” Hernandez said. “The school is doing great right now. The football team wrapped up a good season this year; the basketball team is about to start — we have a great basketball program — so the school is pretty much set.”

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

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