May 7, 2018 3:01 pm

Halifax church drops Cornwallis name, now known as New Horizons Baptist Church

Rhonda Britton pictured giving a sermon in Cornwallis Street Baptist Church in Halifax on March 18, 2018.

Steve Silva / Global News

The Cornwallis Street Baptist Church is no more — the congregation has voted for the church to shed its former title to “better reflect” its current values.

First established in 1832, the membership of the church voted to adopt a new name this Sunday: the New Horizons Baptist Church.

The name still has to be approved by the province’s Registry of Joint Stocks.

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READ MORE: Most Halifax residents still oppose removing Cornwallis name from public infrastructure

The church’s original namesake, Edward Cornwallis, is a controversial figure in Halifax and Canadian history.

He’s a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi’kmaq inhabitants.

The church’s new name comes after it passed a motion at its 2017 annual meeting to change its name.

“The intent of the name change is to identify ourselves by a name that better reflects the church’s values with an eye to the church’s work in the future,” says Rev. Rhonda Britton, senior pastor, Cornwallis Street Baptist Church.

“The change also supports our First Nations sisters and brothers in their continued efforts to educate the public regarding the violence and mistreatment they have endured, as we all become more mindful of those we choose to honour and celebrate in history.”

WATCH: Halifax council votes to temporarily remove Edward Cornwallis statue

Following the worship service on May 6, the church celebrated the name change with a ceremony in anticipation of the building’s renovation.

Construction is scheduled to begin July 30.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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