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Judge Explains Why She Ordered Name Change for Baby 'Messiah': Only Jesus has that title

Posted Aug 12, 2013 7:05 AM CDT

By Debra Cassens Weiss


Parents who were feuding over the last name for their 7-month-old son, Messiah, took their dispute to a Tennessee court and wound up with a new first name for the boy.

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered Messiah’s name changed to Martin last week, report theAssociated Press and WBIR-TV. "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," Ballew told the television station.

The boy’s full name, Ballew ruled, is Martin DeShawn McCullough, which incorporates his father’s last name as well as that of his mother, Jaleesa Martin. Messiah is fourth on a 2012 list of baby names that are most increasing in popularity, AP says.

Ballew noted the boy lives in a county with a large Christian population. “It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is,” she told WBIR.

Jaleesa Martin said she plans to appeal. She said she chose the name Messiah because it goes well with the names of his two siblings, Micah and Mason.

Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015