Judge Rules Baby Can Be Named Messiah
(Newport, TN) An August ruling that made a mother change her baby’s name from Messiah to Martin was reversed Wednesday.
The mother, Jaleesa Martin, and the father were originally in court because they couldn’t agree on the baby’s last name.
That’s when child support magistrate 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 ordered the boy be named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which included both parents’ last names (McCullough is the father’s last name).
Martin said she chose the name Messiah because it’s unique and she liked how it sounded with the 7-month-old’s older siblings, Micah and Mason.
“I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs,” she said.
So Martin appealed the decision, and WBIR reports that “they appealed for two reasons: the mother and the father agreed on the first name, and the decision was unconstitutional.”
Ballew’s ruling was overturned in 30 minutes Wednesday during an appeals hearing.
The judge who overturned the ruling said the court was only supposed to decide the baby’s last name, not his first name.
After the hearing, Martin said, “I’m just happy – I really don’t have nothing to say. I’m just glad it’s over with.”
The baby’s name is now Messiah DeShawn McCollugh.