Poor Branding Blamed for Church Plant Fail 

GASTONIA, NC-  Gil Bailey knew planting a new church in the Southeast would be hard, but he didn’t expect to close the doors after three months. 

The Lead Pastor and “visioneer” worked for weeks with his launch team to come up with the perfect name for their radical idea of what church could be.

“We tried to come up with an original science-y verb, but the only one left was Oscillate,” said Bailey. “And that wouldn’t work because no one can serve masters.”

So Pastor Gil and the team searched for a strong noun that encapsulated what they stood for.

They eventually chose the name “PHUNGUS.” 

“We wanted our church to grow quickly and everywhere. To be able to thrive in the dark places, not just with the churched, you know?” said Bailey. “Phungus captured our hearts perfectly and with the alternate spelling, it looked great on t-shirts and stickers.”

The fungus analogy, however, was lost on their Gastonia community.

“I should’ve known 10:30 in the morning was a weird time for a death metal band to have a concert,” said one tattooed visitor who attended the first week.

Gil’s wife, Laura, said the confusion got rather disgusting as well.

“People posted pics of their nasty yellow toenails on our Facebook page,” she said. “I finally had to write a note explaining we weren’t the cool version of Lamisil.”

Pastor Bailey is still convinced the name could possibly work in another location, but really likes doing ministry near Charlotte.

“Maybe we should try again with our second choice: ENGORGE!”