New Name Proposed for Back to God Ministries

ReFrame Ministries: God’s Story. Today’s Media. If approved by Synod 2020 of the Christian Reformed Church, that will be the new name of Back to God Ministries International, the CRC’s media ministry.

The CRCs Council of Delegates adopted the name at its February 2020 meeting. (The Council of Delegates meets on behalf of the CRC’s annual synod between meetings of synod.)

In a report to the Council, the Back To God leadership team noted that it has been struggling with branding issues since 2014. “ReFrame has been the name of BTGMI’s English-language ministry for more than 10 years and has brand equity both within the CRCNA and among wider user audiences,” the report said. “For the last five years, a concerted effort has been made to bring the Back to God Ministries International and the ReFrame Media brands closer together in appearance and language.”

ReFrame already has a user audience of more than 500,000, so a name change is expected to be seamless with that audience. The report stated that for at least a full year, the agency will use a transitional nameplate with “formerly Back to God Ministries International.”

The ministry, which just celebrated its 80th birthday, was historically known as the Back To God Hour. The name reflected the ministry’s beginnings as a one-hour radio program in the Chicago area. In 2008, Synod approved changing the name to Back To God Ministries International to “communicate more clearly the international and multi-media scope of the ministry.”

Tyler Wagenmaker, delegate of Classis Zeeland, remarked that he is “always sad to see legacy names pass away.” 

Most of the mission and educational agencies of the CRC have adopted new names in the past decade. 

The first was the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, which was renamed World Renew in 2012, when it turned 50.

In Congregational Services ministries, the Office of Abuse Response became Safe Church Ministry; Chaplaincy became Chaplaincy and Care; the Committee for Contact with the Government, in Canada, became the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue; Pastor Church Relations became Pastor Church Resources; 

After the Christian Reformed Home Missions and Christian Reformed World Missions were amalgamated, the new entity was named Resonate Global Mission in 2017. 

Most recently, Calvin College, owned by the CRC, was renamed last year as Calvin University.

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

See comments (2)

Comments

I oppose the proposed name change.  The BOT acted on a name change 12 years ago and the consultants advised to keep the "Back to God" words in the name.  In a time when the CRC membership is stagnate or dropping, it is not wise to lose the generations that have supported this agency for 80 years.  Reframe will change over the years, but God will not!                                                                                         

Marion Van Soelen, Hull IA   (Bot member 2002-2008)

How will this impact anyone who has "Back to God" as a beneficiary in a will or on insurance policies?

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