Fresno church hopes name change will help promote growth

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This summer, Northside Church in Fresno changed its name to Cross City Church. Pastors say the name change was made in part to focus more on the church's mission rather than its location. (KFSN)

A Fresno church decided a name change was one way to set itself up for future growth.

This summer, Northside Church in Fresno changed its name to Cross City Church. Pastors say the name change was made in part to focus more on the church's mission rather than its location.

It's known as the church with three crosses. Lead pastor David Rutherford says 14 area churches have the word "north" in their name.

"We just decided it was a little confusing, and it would probably serve us better in the long run to have a name that described more of what we are about versus the geography," Rutherford explained.

Cross City Christian Church is positioning itself for future growth. Rutherford says The Frappe House - the coffee shop which opened a year ago - has resulted in 1,000 new church members.

"This is not your mom and dad's church," he said. "We're just trying our best to stay relevant, and we want to help people where they're at."

And that means reaching out to people online or in the cases of many young people on their phones. Online services draw close to 500 viewers each weekend.

"About 10 percent that are sick that weekend they're in bed or something and they want to watch. There's probably 20 percent that are traveling," Rutherford said.

The Cross-City campus is raising money to build a youth center and plans to move those three crosses closer to the street entrance.

"That's how people kind of identify our church," Rutherford said.

The church now also offers services in Visalia. Rutherford says the name change has drawn a mostly positive reaction from church members, though some do prefer the original name which stood for 63 years.

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