Our five year old congregation, which started in a storefront and recently moved into a very nice, traditional looking church facility, has been struggling with the way we identify ourselves. We have had frequent discussions in the past couple of years in particular about whether we should leave the name "Baptist" as part of our identification, or just be known as Oakwood Church. Many of our members are discovering that the church has a perception and identity that it didn't earn on its own. Most of the people who live in the immediate area are unchurched, or have been out of church for a long time. The perception seems to be that Baptist church services are dull, with long, pushy, political sermons, that most of the congregation is old and set in its ways, and that we are spiritually arrogant. Those who do come through the door frequently express their surprise that we are not that in any way, and often I hear, "Are you sure you are Baptists?" as they depart. This has naturally had an effect on our ability to do outreach. Our church has a desire to grow, and doesn't want to limit its outreach to just those from a Baptist background. I came from another background as well, though the name Baptist was not, for me, associated with negative things. What it means to me is church polity that recognizes the autonomy of the local church, congregational authority, soul freedom, the freedom to be led by the spirit in the study of the scriptures and a free church tradition with regard to church-state issues, and church authority over the ordinances of Baptism by immersion and Communion. We have a good relationship with several other Baptist churches in our larger community and I have heard that they have similar problems. One, in fact, the largest of those within a ten mile radius, has changed its name from "Baptist" to "The Church at ....." They are, however, connected to the SBC. Are there any others who have experienced this same problem?