Tenn. judge orders couple to change baby's name

(NBC) - What started as a court hearing over a baby's last name is turning into a debate over his first name, Messiah.

A judge in Newport, Tenn., ordered the parents to change it.

The baby's birth certificate says "Messiah DeShawn Martin."

His parents went to court over his last name. That's when the judge ordered them to change his name to "Martin McCullough."

"The word Messiah is a title, and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," Judge Lu Ann Ballew said.

Jaleesa Martin, the baby's mother, is appealing the judge's order.

"I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God, and I didn't think a judge could make me change my baby's name because of her religious beliefs," Martin said.

They go back to court next month.