What is a Church of the Nazarene?

The Church of the Nazarene is a denomination in the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition. This simply means that we have a strong belief that God’s grace is so transformational that we are enabled to live new kinds of lives; lives that are consistently pleasing to God.  It’s not that we can’t sin anymore—no, not at all.  It’s more of this idea that God’s transformation so changes our lives that we don’t want to sin anymore.  We want to live pleasing to Him.  For more on our specific beliefs, click on the link, “What We Believe.
Some have wondered how we got our name, “Nazarene.” Sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it?  Well Nazareth was the town Jesus grew up in, a dumpy town with a less-than-stellar record of producing rock stars.  When one of Jesus’ disciples, Phillip, told his friend, Nathanael about this new rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanael’s response was, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”  Of course the answer is “Yes,” because of Jesus the Nazarene.  So the town from where nobody thought good could come actually became the town that produced the best of the best.  So when our denominational leaders were thinking about a meaningful name to give this young group of churches, this story came to mind.  It seemed to fit so perfectly since the church prioritized embracing people and places that everyone else had given up on—drunks, homeless people, drifters, etc.  So our leaders embraced the title “Nazarene” not only as an apt descriptor, but as a guide for the kind of vision our churches would always embrace.  Now, over a hundred years later, we are still a church for anyone!