Connecting people with a life that counts for eternity by building disciples that go and change lives.


After many months of thought, prayer, research, and discussion, we have rebranded as Central Church, in order to reach more people with the gospel.

Read the letter from Elder Board Chair Ben Lee.

Central Rebrand: Frequently Asked Questions

You changed our name. What's so bad about "Baptist"?

Theologically, we are a Baptist church. We are proud of our incredible heritage and we are committed to our statement of faith. This rebranding does not change any of our beliefs, mission, or our denominational affiliation. It is simply adjusting how we identify ourselves to the community. People who are looking to attend a Baptist church will still be able to find us. But this rebrand allows us to more easily reach people who are confused or skeptical about the label "Baptist."

How do you know that people have a problem with the word "Baptist"?

We have discovered this through our own research (surveys and focus groups), the insights of other reputable organizations, and through the stories of dozens of individuals in Sioux Falls (both inside and outside of Central). The evidence is overwhelming: the majority of the people we are trying to reach view the name "Baptist" as either negative or confusing. (Statistically, any name that elicits more than a 3 percent alienation rate is problematic; "Baptist" has over a 50 percent rate. This is a significant obstacle.)

Things are going great right now. Why mess it up by doing a rebrand?

There are definitely good things happening at Central. We are experiencing steady growth, we are financially sound, and great ministry is taking place. But we are seeing very few non-Christians come through our doors. Most of our growth is due to believers from other churches, not unchurched people.

We have the potential to see many more people hear the gospel and know Christ because the name of the church didn't scare them away. This change is motivated by our mission and vision, so we are actually taking a logical step, not messing anything up.

We were founded in 1883 as First Swedish Baptist Church, a vibrant place of worship for Swedes. But we changed our name to Central in 1920 in order to more effectively reach out to the surrounding community. So this is not unprecedented. And with the launch of our Downtown Campus in September of 2016, the timing was right for us to refresh our brand, including our logo, website, and other elements.

Are other churches and organizations doing similar things?

Yes. Here are some examples:

  • Baptist General Conference (our denomination) → Coverge Worldwide
  • White Bear Lake Baptist Church (Minnesota) → Eagle Brook Church
  • Friendship Baptist Church (Sioux Falls) → Friendship Community Church
  • North American Baptist Seminary → Sioux Falls Seminary
  • Hillcrest Baptist Church (Sioux Falls) → Hillcrest Church