Tennessee Judge Orders Messiah Name Change

Messiah ben Jaleesa - born to a Tennessee family in January 2013


Messiah ben Jaleesa - born to a Tennessee family in January 2013

Messiah ben Jaleesa – born to a Tennessee family in January 2013

Newport, Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered that an infant’s name be changed from Messiah to Martin last week, after the child’s parents went to court to fight over their son’s last name.

Jaleesa Martin, the boy’s mother, wants her son named Martin DeShawn McCullough. He was born in January and named Messiah Deshawn Martin. He “alliterively” joined his older brothers Micah and Mason.

Judge Ballew said, “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.” She ordered that the name Messiah be omitted. Asked what she thinks of parents who name their child “Jesus,” Ballew said, “I thought about that… And that’s not relevant to this case.”

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew serves the 4th Judicial District of Tenn. including the following counties: Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier.

Jaleesa Martin plans to take her case to the Cocke County Chancellor on Sept. 17, right after Yom Kippur. She insists that it is her right to name her child as she desires.

Since 2005, in the United States, the name Messiah has grown in popularity. It is among the top 400 names. It is among the top five fastest growing names, directly behind Jase. The top boys names for newborns in Tennessee are William, Elijah, Mason, Jackson, Ethan, Noah, Liam, and Michael.

Reached by phone from Brooklyn, OB/GYN Menachem Shemtov was not familiar with any patients who had named their babies Messiah or Moshiach. It is believed that Judge Ballew has no chidren named “Cat.” Israeli musician, Shalom Hanoch, who had a hit song titled “Messiah’s Not Coming (He’s not even going to Telephone)” was unavailable for comment at upload time.



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