We are the First Baptist Church of Napa (FBC) doing business as CrossWalk Community Church. Our church began in 1860 with the help of our denomination, American Baptist Churches, USA (ABC-USA). ABC-USA has no authority over our local operations - we freely associate with the denomination in order to do more good in the world than we can by ourselves. Through their collective efforts, we make a difference on a wide range of social justice issues, natural disaster response, helping other churches, and global efforts to help people who need it most. We changed our name to CrossWalk Community Church after we became aware that in our culture, the word “Baptist” has become a caricature for many that represents narrow-mindedness, judgmental, exclusive, and anti-(fill-in-the-blank). Our own members were telling us that when they invited people to give us a try, the “Baptist” in our name was too big a hurdle to get over. This was not an easy decision. Historically, Baptists have been a people of freedom - free to read the Bible and interpret as they desired instead of being forced to adhere to the denominational leadership; free to lead their churches as they saw fit without interference from someone from the head office. American Baptists, in particular, have been proponents of equality, from the emancipation of slaves to gender equality and now on the LGBTQ front. We’re proud of our true heritage, yet frustrated that some louder distant-cousins within the larger Baptist world have maligned our identifying word so much that it no longer means what it once did. So, in 2008, we voted to begin doing business as CrossWalk. Our legal name remains First Baptist Church, however. The move has helped us reach many more people than we would have otherwise. By the time people discover our Baptist roots, they have already learned that we do not in any way fit the caricature. Easy to explain to someone who has been with us. Impossible to convince someone who has not.