Longenecker Evangelical Anabaptist Fellowship
Friday, January 15, 2021

Name Change FAQs

Name Change FAQs

1. So, why change your name?
Our new name more accurately reflects our congregational decision to leave Mennonite Church USA and join the Evana Networkan association of evangelical Anabaptist congregations. 

2. Does this mean that you have changed your beliefs and are no longer Mennonite?
No, we continue to affirm the 1995 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective  along with other Evana Network congregations.  We seek to preach, teach, and live out the same core convictions that we have held since the founding of our congregation in 1830.

3. What is an Anabaptist?  Does it mean you are against Baptists?
No, we are certainly not anti-Baptist at all.  In fact, there was a close link between early Baptist leader John Smyth and Dutch Mennonites and both Baptists and Anabaptists share an emphasis on “the believers church, believers baptism and biblicism, and opposition to hierarchy and state interference in religious matters” (http://www.gameo.org/index.php?title=Baptists).
Anabaptist literally means “re-baptizer” and was originally intended as an insult because of Anabaptists’ rejection of infant baptism and insistence on an adult confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  As Anabaptists, we emphasize daily discipleship in the way of Jesus, being part of a believing community of mutual aid and accountability, holding to an ethic of love and nonresistance that rejects violence, the importance of proclaiming the good news of God’s salvation, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

4. What is an Evangelical?  Does it mean that you are politically conservative?
No, not necessarily.  “Evangelical” is not meant to define a political, social, or cultural group but rather our agreement with the four primary characteristics of evangelicalism as described by historian David Bebbington (see https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/):
        -Conversionism:  the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a life long process of following Jesus
        -Activism:  the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts
        -Biblicism:  a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority
        -Crucicentrism:  a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity

5. What is the appropriate way to refer to the church as a result of this name change?
You are welcome to refer to the church as Longenecker Evangelical Anabaptist Fellowship, LEAF, or even just Longenecker.  All are perfectly acceptable.