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What's in a preacher's name? Not Christ, Judge Straniere rules.

posted Oct 17, 2012, 9:09 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 13, 2015, 12:53 PM by Lou Bara ]
You can praise the Lord, but you can't take his name for your own.

That's the essence of a Staten Island judge's decision striking down a preacher's bid to change his family's surname to ChristIsKing.

Michael Nwadiuko, 50, founder of the New Springville-based Christ the Lord Evangelistic Association, who, at one time preached aboard the Staten Island Ferry -- to some riders' dismay -- sought to change his last name to one that would "identify our family line with Christ," according to court papers.

But Supervising Judge Philip S. Straniere of Civil Court, West Brighton, spurned the request, saying it would impinge on others' rights to hold their own religious views, while making them declare the Nwadiukos'.

"To permit this name change would be placing unwitting members of the public, including public servants, in the position of having to proclaim [the Nwadiukos'] religious beliefs which may or may not be in agreement with that person's own equally strongly-held but different beliefs," wrote Straniere in a recently filed decision.

For the rest of the story, written by Frank Donnelly, visit the Staten Island Advance: