In downtown Chicago there is the Eleventh Church of Christ Scientists, I think is the number, but anyway it is more than one. And one hears of the First Presbyterian, the First Methodist and even the First Baptist Church, but 1) is there a First Lutheran Church? And 2) why have I never heard of the Second, Third, and so on Something Church? 3) Does the Mary Baker Eddy group have a different numbering system for their churches that they are all the way up to eleven? 4)Just what is this numbering business all about?
I asked that question myself about my church. It is a ‘1st’ church and it seems that it is clled that becaus it was the first one of my religon built in this town. There are other ‘1st’ churches of the same type in other towns.
Generally, the numbering is used if there is/was more than one church of a given denomination in the same community. In the two where I grew up, there was a 1st Presbyterian Church as well as a 2nd Presbyterian Church.
Actually, the Presbyterian’s seem to have a counting system, too. You can find many “second”, “third”, “fourth” etc, Presbyterian and Christian Science churches as in google. There are a smattering of other sects, too, eg. a “Second Baptist” in Houston.
Why would you trust your immortal soul to an also-ran?