A judge in Tennessee has changed the first name of 7-month-old Messiah DeShawn Martin to “Martin.” The judge claims “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.” Judge Ballew then ordered the 7-month-old’s name be “Martin DeShawn McCullough includes both parent’s last names but leaves out Messiah.
According to a WBIR TV report, Jaleesa Martin and the father of Messiah could not agree on a last name, which is how they ended up at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court on Thursday.
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew serves the 4th Judicial District of Tenn. including Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier counties.
The name change was part of Judge Ballew’s case; but the parents did not think the first name would be changed.
Martin responded saying, “I was shocked. I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God and I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs.”
According to Judge Ballew, it is the first time she has ordered a first name change. She said the decision is best for the child, especially while growing up 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,” Judge Ballew said.
Or watch this video report: