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Digital Re-Branding Guide for Churches

Digital Re-Branding Guide for Churches

With many churches across the country currently re-aligning denominations, this guide will help you in renaming and digitally rebranding your church. When you start this project, you will find the sprawl of digital content across not only your church website but also across the interwebs. I’ll use the word church, but this guide will be useful to nonprofits as well. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents:

Before starting work across the interweb, be sure your church board had firmly decided on a name, tagline, and logo.  There is nothing more frustrating than building everything only to find out the board wants to change the name or logo.  It saves time and money to nail these down upfront.  For help on renaming, see our previous article “Reimagining“.  Then get graphic design help on an updated logo that reflects the new direction of your church.

New Denomination Branding

If your church is aligning with another denomination, ask for a copy of their ‘Brand Guide Book.’ These are common in the corporate world and are usually developed by the denomination’s marketing company. This resource helps you correctly use the denomination’s logo. Correct branding should include color schemes, fonts, layouts, and overall look.

Church Website

Start your digital rebranding at the obvious place, your church’s website.  If you don’t have one or it was a directory page provided by your old denomination, now is a good time to start one. 

Domain Names

Your domain name is the part after www that people type or click to go to your website like  Be sure your domain name does not include parts or abbreviations of the old church name that need to be avoided for legal reasons, such as   Your web developer can help you buy a new domain name.  Domains cost about $20 USD a year.  Then they can migrate your website.

Web Content

If you do have a website, search every page for usage of the old church name.  Also check every download you provide on your site.  This search can be automated at by putting “site:” in front of the web domain along with the search term in quotes. 
Search Example:  "Our Old Name"
social media icons on a mobile phone

Finding Social Media Accounts

Review the social media already being used by your church.  Some churches have none, while others have a complex network of social media accounts.  Ask the pastor, church secretary, and regular attenders what social media the church uses and what they use.   Also, take time to go to each platform and do a search for the church name.  Sometimes pastors are surprised to find multiple social media accounts run by members, teens, and even previous pastors.  We will address rebranding on Facebook in detail since it is the largest and most used platform.  Help links are provided for other platforms.


The first thing to understand about Facebook is the difference between a profile, a Page, and a Group.  Then figure out if your church has any of these and who is the administrator.

  • Profiles
    • Profiles are intended for individual humans to share personal interests, news, and photos.
    • A profile is created when you create an account, in fact, their Terms require that you “Provide for your account the same name that you use in everyday life.”
    • Profiles do not work well for organizations or churches and may be a violation of the Terms of Service.
  • Pages
    • A page is like the front yard of a house, where anyone can see what’s going on and join the conversation.
    • Pages are a place on Facebook where organizations, like a church, can share information and connect with people via Facebook.
    • Pages must have at least one Admin (a personal profile) who posts to the page and moderates discussions.
    • We don’t add people to a Page because people add themselves by clicking Like or Follow.
    • Pages allow for a vanity URL such as https:\\\ChurchName but groups do not.
    • Pages can be used for paid advertising if you need to promote an event or activity.
  • Groups
    • A group is like the backyard of a house, where only invited guests can enter and interact.
    • The admin can add or invite people to a Group. 
    • The admin can also set up questions and rules to limit who gets into the group, like a gate to the backyard.
    • A group is for people with a common interest, like a church, to interact and collaborate with each other. 
    • Group settings can allow them to be Public, Private, or Hidden.
    • Groups need an Admin to manage the group and moderate conversations.
    • A group can grow organically through word-of-mouth and invitations.
    • A group can be linked to a Page.
  • If you only have time to manage one thing, get a Page.
  • For more info see Facebook Help

Unauthorized or dead pages   In helping some churches, we always do a Facebook search for the name of the church and sometimes find pages that the church did not know about.  Some of these were started by previous pastors, staff, or members who moved away. Try to contact previous pastors and ask members to find the admin, and have them add you as the Admin.  Leave a message on the Page.  If they, don’t respond then create a new Page with the new name and corrected information.

Unofficial Pages” Some Pages are generated by Facebook as a Place when someone does a “check-in” at your address and will have the text “Unofficial Page” until the page is claimed.  Claiming an old page is difficult and no, Facebook will not help you.  The best bet for those is to click the ellipses (three dots)  by the Like button, and then click “Report Page”, then “Inaccurate Information” and “Permanently Closed”, which is true if it is being reopened under a new name. Get a few people to do this and it will eventually go away.

Recommendation:  Every church needs a Facebook page to have a public presence and promote the mission and activities of their church.   A Group is optional and can provide for ‘church family’ conversations.   A profile should never be used for a church or organization, as that is a violation of the terms and does not help facilitate conversations. This article offers free shipping on qualified Face mask products, or buy online and pick up in store today at Medical Department

Other Social Media

Using other social media platforms depends on your goals and the age demographic which you are trying to reach.  Facebook has been the largest platform for years.  If you find accounts on any of these platforms, the process is similar.  Start by finding the admin or account owner.  You may post messages to the page or account and have them contact you.  If the profile is long dead, leave it and create a new one.

  • Instagram
    • The 2nd most popular platform, especially among women aged 18-49.
    • For help on renaming your account click here.
  • Twitter
    • Has a smaller but very loyal audience.
    • For help on changing your username (handle) click here.
  • Pinterest
    • Small but popular for posting pictures.
    • For help changing your name and profile settings click here.
  • Tik Tok
    • Popular among younger audiences.
    • For help changing your name and profile settings click here.
  • Snap Chat
    • Popular among younger audiences.
    • For help changing your display name click here.

For statistics on social media usage by platform and by demographic, see the Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet.  If you don’t want to dig through charts and statistics, just ask people in your church what platforms they use.

tablet with Google

Google Business Entry

Love it or hate it, Google is here to stay and an important part of a digital rebranding for churches or other nonprofits.  It is embedded on millions of mobile devices and used billions of times a day.  Luckily, they make it easy to update your church’s Business

Google Business Entry
Go to and search for your church. Try both the official name of the church “First Methodist Church of Ourtown” as well as other names people call it, such as “Ourtown Methodist.” If it is a common church name like “First Church” be sure to add the city and state. On the right side, you should find a box with the Google Business entry showing the name, address, and other information like phone number and website.

Once you find your church’s profile, it is easy to modify information. If you are logged into a Google account, there will be a link “Suggest an Edit” below the business entry. Click that link to suggest an updated name, location, phone number, hours, or website. Suggestions are reviewed before approval, which usually takes 2-3 days.

There will also be a link to “Own this business?” Use that process to verify your identity and take ownership of the business entry on Google. They will mail a postcard to the business address with a link and code to verify ownership. Both of these tools will help to update Google’s search engine and Google Maps.

If you do not find your church in a web search or map search, create a profile today on the Business Profile page. It will require a Google account.

Google Maps

While you are focused on Google, check the map to make sure the Pin for your church is in the right location.

  • Go to
  • Search for your church by name, city, and state.
  • If it is missing, try a search based on your address.
  • Switch to Satellite view using the ‘Layers’ button in the lower left.
  • Zoom in using the + and –
  • Verify the red Pin is on your building. Sometimes it is over the wrong building or out in a field.
  • If it is incorrect, you can once again click the ‘Suggest an Edit’ button.
  • Choose ‘Change name or other details
  • Then you can modify the marker and submit your suggestion. It will be reviewed and usually approved in a few days.
  • If it is missing, zoom in on your building and click. You will see a grey pin.
  • Right Click on Windows or Command Click on a Mac to see the context menu.
  • Click ‘Add your business’ and it will take you to the Business Profile center to enter details.

These steps should get you listed on the biggest search engine in the world.

Physical Property

Several pastors have mentioned the daunting job of rebranding their church buildings. It is beyond the scope of this article to cover the rebranding of the physical property of your church, but try to start with the “visitor” exercise. When managing a retail store in college, I would walk the entire property inside and out as if I were a visitor for the first time. You could also enlist a friend or some kids for a game of “find the old logo” because they will spot everything. Doing so allows for an honest first impression, but also helps you see things overlooked due to familiarity.

Look for the old name and logo on signage, things built into the building, printed flyers on the walls, brochures and collateral, and free SWAG (coffee cups, ink pens, notepads).  The old name and logo may be hiding in plain sight. Just like in retail, you may find places in your church that could use a good cleaning or repairs.


Digital rebranding can be overwhelming, especially at a time when your church is in transition.  Follow the steps above and you will have the major bases covered.  If you need help, find a website professional or media person to assist.  We are no longer consulting, but highly recommend Tim Priebe and the crew at T&S Online Marketing.  Tell Tim that Allen referred you.

Legal note: I am a geek, so this article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. If your church has disaffiliated from a denomination, start by reviewing the disaffiliation agreement and ask your church attorney for clarification as needed.  If you need one, call Jeri Holmes.


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