We get asked often, “Why did you guys name your church ‘Hiawatha’?” Well, there are two reasons:
1. The geographical reason. We love South Minneapolis and the name “Hiawatha” has come to be almost synonymous with it (lakes, neighborhoods, roads, and golf courses are all named after it in our area). So our name signifies our commitment to serve and bring good news to our community.
2. The theological reason. “Hiawatha” is an Ojibwe word that means “river-maker” and is referenced in Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha. In the poem Hiawatha slays an evil magician named Pearl-Feather and then marries Minnehaha. We chose the name Hiawatha Church because all of this reminded us of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ultimate river-maker (Revelation 22:1), the ultimate evil-slayer (Revelation 12:7-12), and the ultimate husband (Revelation 19:7-8).
So our church’s name is actually a cultural “whisper” of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God—our ultimate Hiawatha—is full of love and resolve to destroy our sin and to bring us back to himself.