Judge Orders Toddler's Name Changed from 'Messiah'

NEWPORT, Tenn. (AP) -- A Cocke County judge has ordered the parents of a 7-month-old boy to change his first name from "Messiah."

Jaleesa Martin and the father of the little boy were at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court last week because they couldn't agree on a last name for him.

After hearing the child's first name, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the boy's name be Martin DeShawn McCullough, which includes the last names of both parents and leaves out Messiah.

Ballew said the word Messiah is a title that has been earned by one person "and that one person is Jesus Christ."

Jaleesa Martin, of Newport, is appealing the judge's decision.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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