Folks at the recently rebranded Good News Church in Hockessin are hoping a name change will help show its focus on spreading the “good news.”

Berea Church on Old Lancaster Pike recently changed its name to Good News Church, going from a name with biblical significance to one that reflects the real message and goal of the church, according to lead pastor JP Reap.

Noting that Berea is the town mentioned in the Book of Acts that Timothy, Paul and Silas fled to from Thessalonica in order to preach the gospel, Reap said the original name focuses on an internal aspect of the church that reflects what the church considers important.

“The Bible talks about God blessing the church, giving to the church to be a blessing – you’re not just a church to yourselves, you’re a church to reach out to other people. Particularly, with a message,” Reap said. “And that message in the Bible is called, ‘The Good News.’”

They not only changed their mission from an inward to an outward focus, Reap said, but added the new name to help in their new direction.

“The name is our mission,” he said. “And that mission is spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ. Our church, like any church, can become so inwardly focused on its members and what’s happening, but when Christ comes into your life, you become less inwardly focused.”

Also new the church is director of youth, family and worship music ministries John O, who has been on board for just the past two months.

Formerly the youth and families director at a church in Willow Grove, Pa., the Glenside resident is also a chaplain for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard – a position he’s held for the past 18 months.

“My desire is to help people deal with real-world life issues that are real, not theoretical,” O said of his position. “So often people think the church offers religious solutions. I want to address the things in people’s lives in a way they understand.”

The church will be hosting a public celebration on Sunday, Sept. 9, following morning services for its members and the public, to get the word out on their new name and their refocused message.

The church is also hosting “Good News Explored,” a seven-week program that provides people the opportunity to ask questions about the church and Christianity in an informal setting.

Director of outreach Eric Youngdale said the informal course is a simple, high-level, relaxed explanation about Christianity and its claims.

“People can come in and challenge and ask and whatever they want to do,” Youngdale said. “Come and ask your questions, we’d love to talk with you.”

For additional details or to register for the course, visit goodnewschurch.online.

ABOUT GOOD NEWS

Berea started out on the Kirkwood Highway in the 1950s, by families passionate about communicating the message of Christ.

As their congregation started to grow, they decided to find a larger church, eventually settling on the spot on Old Lancaster Pike in Hockessin in 1973.

An affiliate of the Presbyterian Church of America, Good News has roughly 200 members.