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Call Me Margaret Because That's My Name

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


My name is Margaret. I like my name. I like hearing my name when people use it. I grew up in a very small country town in the South where almost everyone has a first name and a middle name. Many of us were called by our middle name that often turned into a nickname. It was fine for me as a child because other kids were called by their nicknames. Therefore, I figured it was normal.

All the way through elementary and high school, I was called by my nickname. Even some of my teachers stopped calling me by my real name and began calling me by my nickname. Since they were my authority figures, I accepted it.

When I went to college, no one knew me by my nickname and I was glad. It was only when I enrolled in seminary that I realized I no longer liked it when my family and those in my hometown used my nickname to address me especially in public and in professional settings.

Disadvantage of Having a Nickname

I want people to stop calling me by my nickname because I am no longer working in the cotton fields in rural Virginia. While people called me by a nickname that was acceptable as a child, it is no longer appropriate.

I am older now. I am a professional. I am saved by the blood of the Lamb and a disciple of Jesus Christ who responds more favorably when I am addressed by my real name instead of the nickname I have long outgrown.

Once I was teaching a Bible class when a relative called me by my nickname which embarrassed me. When the other participants heard it, they laughed and the class was disrupted. Some of them felt they could call me by that nickname after they heard it.


Names Are Important to God and to Me

Names are important to God, and my name is important to me. Often when God had an encounter with people in the Bible, they were changed, and God gave them a new name so they would have a new identity to put the past behind them. By hearing a new name, they could imagine a better future and reflect on their destiny.

In the Old Testament, God changed the names of many people. He changed Abram’s name, meaning "high father," to “Abraham,” meaning "father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5). God also changed his wife's name from “Sarai,” meaning “my princess” to “Sarah” meaning “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15) to be parallel to her husband's name.

When God changed their names, He was letting them hear who they would be long before they came to be who they ended up being. It took 25 years for their destiny to be fulfilled with Isaac, the son of promise.

Jacob's name meant "supplanter" until he spent all night wrestling with God. Then his name was changed to "Israel" meaning “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). No longer would Jacob be a supplanter and trickster. His name reflected that he would become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

In the book of Exodus, God gave the baby in a basket in the Nile River the name Moses to mean "drawn out of the water" (Exodus 2:10). Moses ended up leading millions of Hebrew slaves through the Red Sea. God was using Moses' name to fit his destiny.

In the New Testament, Jesus changed Simon's name meaning "God has heard" to Simon Peter which means "Rock" (John 1:42). Jesus gave Peter keys of the kingdom and said, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Matthew 16:18).

God gives some people new names to set them apart from their old life and to prepare them for their new mission. The new name was part of God's divine plan to assure them that His plan will be fulfilled in them.

Margaret: "Pearl of Great Price"


My Nickname

My mother gave me the name of Margaret Josephine. My middle name is a derivative of my father's name Joseph. Most of my relatives and others in my small community called me "Phine" as the shortened form of Josephine. When someone says Phine, it is has a negative connotation because it sounds like "fiend" which is an evil or demonic spirit as in the expressions, "dope fiend, sex fiend, etc." To call someone a fiend is the same as calling them an evil and demonic person which I am not.

Today, only my relatives and people from my past call me Phine. I have asked them to refrain from doing so, but they still call me that because they never accepted who I am today. They don't see me as Margaret. They refuse to acknowledge the change and still think of me as being a fiend. I counteract it by saying to myself, "I am Margaret, a pearl of great price."

An oyster with a beautiful pearl.

An oyster with a beautiful pearl.

God Sees Me As A Pearl

I think Margaret is a beautiful name. Most people know how a pearl comes to be the beautiful gem that it is. It is formed and perfected in the heart of an oyster as it contends with dirt, grime, and other unpleasant things at the bottom of the ocean.

Most precious stones must be cut and polished to reveal their beauty, but the pearl is perfect as soon as it comes from the oyster even though it went through much to obtain its luster.

Jesus told a parable about the pearl of great price to illustrate the value of the Kingdom of Heaven.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." (Matthew 13:45-46)

By the way, my mother's middle name was "Pearl."


Many Famous Women Named Margaret

There are many women all over the world named Margaret. They are queens, princesses, duchesses, countesses, and other royals. There are religious figures, saints, and churches named Margaret.

Other areas where a Margaret exists includes actresses, songwriters, journalists, educators, scientists, politicians, and those in other high-profile careers.

Places Named Margaret

5 Places Named Margaret in the United States:

  1. Margaret, Alabama
  2. Margaret, North Carolina
  3. Margaret, Pennsylvania
  4. Margaret, Texas
  5. Margaret, West Virginia

One place in Italy is named Margaret.

When I visited the Holy Land, I stayed at St. Margaret’s Hostel in Jesus' hometown of Nazareth. The lodging was located on a hill with a view of the Basilica of the Annunciation.

But now, thus says the Lord who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

"Call Me Margaret"

Two books have been published entitled Call Me Margaret. One was published in 1984 by Margaret Eaton Brown Fleming. It is an 80-page paperback.

The other Call Me Margaret book is by someone whose name is not Margaret. It is a 113- page book by Mary Helen Harper Wright that was published in 1997.

Because those two books exist, I would not be able to call my autobiography by that title because it would be confusing to the public.

Do Me a Favor

I have a fairly impressive resume with several titles in front of my name and well as three degrees behind my name. Those are of a physical nature. I am not fond of titles because I was not born with one. Besides, titles do not indicate who people really are. There are many people with titles who are in prison and homeless because their titles couldn't help them.

I just want people to acknowledge me by calling me by my real name because it is of a spiritual nature for me. Therefore, nothing pleases me more than to hear my real name when people talk to me. Whenever they say, "Margaret" I hear "pearl of great price." When they say "Phine" I hear something else and cringe. Therefore, do me a favor and —

"Call me Margaret because that's my name!"


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