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Judge changes infant’s name from ‘Messiah’

NEWPORT, Tenn. – A judge in eastern Tennessee changed a 7-month-old boy’s name to Martin from Messiah, saying the religious name was earned by one person and “that one person is Jesus Christ.”

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the name change last week, according to WBIR-TV. The boy’s parents were in court because they could not agree on the child’s last name, but when the judge heard the boy’s first name, she ordered it changed, too.

“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,” Ballew said.

It was the first time she ordered a first name change, the judge said.

Messiah was the fourth-fastest-rising baby name in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.

The judge said the baby was to be named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which includes both parents’ last names.

The boy’s mother, Jaleesa Martin, of Newport, said she will appeal. She said Messiah is unique and she liked how it sounded alongside the boy’s two siblings, Micah and Mason.