Naotcha CCAP in Blantyre has changed its name to Mount Olive, effective June 1.
A source, who asked for anonymity, said the church might have decided to change its name after discovering that the name [Naotcha] is associated with evil as it meant a place where people, such as thieves, were killed and burnt for offending the society.
But interview with Nation on Sunday, moderator of the church Reverend Mathias Hauya trashed the speculated reasons for changing the church’s name.
“We have constructed a new church which will be opened on September 25 this year. As session, we met on April 16 and agreed that with a new church we should also have a new name as well. So the session agreed to name the church Mount Olive,” said Hauya.
He added that they first proposed a new name called New Jerusalem, which the the synod did not support.
“They advised us to suggest other three names. We came up with Saint Joseph, Saint Mark and Mount Olive. The synod recommended all the three, but we chose Mount Olive because it is the place where Jesus Christ used to communicate with God through prayers.”
Blantyre Synod Presbytery Clerk Reverend Baxton Maulidi confirmed the change of name from Naotcha to Mount Olive.
“The synod approved the change of its name. As we are speaking, the church is no longer Naotcha, but Mount Olive,” said Maulidi.
Naotcha CCAP was established in 1933 as a prayer house for Saint Columba and it became an independent church in 1989. n