A judge reversed an earlier court order that blocked the name from being used arguing that it was a title reserved solely for Jesus Christ.
The new decision allows the mother and father, Jaleesa Martin and Jawaan McCullough, to name their baby boy "Messiah," reversing Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew's decision in August to name the baby "Martin DeShawn McCullough" instead.
It was just a month ago that Judge Lu Ann 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."
The judge further explained that such a name would likely offend the large Christian population of Cocke County.
Chancellor Telford Forgety announced in court on Wednesday that Judge Ballew's decision is vacated in part.
Here is the interesting part. The husband and wife agreed on the baby first name to be "Messiah." However, they couldn't agree to use the mother's last name "Martin" or the father's last name "McCullough." So that's why they went to court in the first place. They never knew the baby's first name would be an issue.
While in court, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the child's name be changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough, so that it includes both parents' names and eliminates the "title" Messiah as a name.
Martin's attorney, Kristi Davis, said that an appeal was launched because both parents had agreed on the first name, and argued that Ballew's decision was unconstitutional.
The American Family Association protested against the magistrate's decision, arguing the judiciary should not be able to dictate what name parents give their child.
After the court's reversed decision, the baby is now named Messiah DeShawn McCollugh. Therefore, it keeps the title of Messiah and uses the father's last name as most children do.
The mother said she never stopped calling the baby "Messiah." She says that the chosen name goes well with her two other children, named Micah and Mason.