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Despite Tennessee Judge's order, Messiah among fastest-growing baby names

4:14 PM, Aug 11, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR) Between 2011 and 2012, Messiah was in the top five for male baby names growing in popularity in the U.S.

That's according to the Social Security Administration's annual list of the top 1000 baby names.

An East Tennessee mother is appealing a court's decision after a judged ordered her son's name be changed from Messiah.

The baby's mother and father could not agree on a last name so they went to a child support hearing on Thursday.

During the hearing, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the first name also be changed because she said "the word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that person is Jesus Christ."

Judge Ballew said it is the first time she ordered a first name change. She said the decision is best for the child, especially while growing up in a county with a large Christian population.

However in 2011, the name Messiah was the 633rd most popular name; in 2012, it was 387th most popular for baby boys.

The 246 position jump made Messiah the fourth fastest growing baby name for boys in the U.S.

That's not too far behind Major, the name that jumped the most spots on the list from 988th in 2011 to 483rd in 2012.

The top ten names with largest popularity changes for baby boys: Major, Gael, Jase, Messiah, Brantley, Iker, King, Rory, Ari, Maverick.

Click here to see the full list of fastest-growing baby names in America from 2011 to 2012.

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