Join Rich and Sam as we interview Jerry DeWitt and Teresa MacBain of The Clergy Project. In a first for both shows, this episode is a joint effort between Ask an Atheist and Living After Faith. This episode will appear on both feeds.
This episode is pre-recorded, so unfortunately we will not be able to take your calls. Additionally, there are extensive show notes.
Since we were on a tight time budget this week in order to fit this important interview inside the hour we have for the show, we didn’t give this week’s answers to Peggy’s Challenge the attention they deserve. While donations from far away places aren’t uncommon, this week is especially international:
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- Roslyn from Changzhou, China
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- Richard from Kent, UK
- Thomas from Langley, BC, Canada
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- Matthew from Federal Way, WA
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And now, the people involved with this week’s episode:
To say that Teresa MacBain is an ex-Methodist pastor suggests the past when in many ways it is still the present. Until two weeks ago, she was a pastor at a Methodist church in Northern Florida, but led a double life as The Agnostic Pastor. She left her post at the church to immediately join American Atheists and speak out about her transition, making a huge impression on the Atheism Visibility Movement. At this point in her life, any official bio is going to be hopelessly out of date, so for further information we can only suggest that we keep an eye on YouTube, the news, and local speaking engagements.
Jerry DeWitt is the Executive Director of Recovering from Religion. He became a non-believer after more than twenty-five years of Pentecostal ministry in his home state of Louisiana. His ministry experience begin at the early age of seventeen and included evangelizing across the United States and being the assistant pastor of two United Pentecostal churches as well as one Apostolic church. During his dilemma with doubt Jerry ultimately held the senior pastorate of two very unique congregations, one charismatic dominionist and the other non-denominational fundamentalist.
Jerry also holds the distinction of being the first graduate of The Clergy Project, a private, invitation-only “safe house” community of current and former ministers who no longer hold the supernatural beliefs of their religious traditions.
The Clergy Project
The Clergy Project is a confidential online community for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs. The Clergy Project launched on March 21st, 2011.
Currently, the community’s 185 plus members use it to network and discuss what it’s like being an unbelieving leader in a religious community. The Clergy Project’s goal is to support members as they move beyond faith.
Recovering From Religion
Recovering From Religion is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing multi-dimensional support and encouragement to individuals leaving their religious affiliations through the establishment, development, training, and educational support of local groups nationwide.
Living After Faith serves as the official podcast for Recovering from Religion.
Because of the importance of Rich’s history in this episode, we’ll include Rich’s bio from our own cast page:
Rich Lyons is a former United Pentecostal Church pastor with 20 years in the ministry. In 2004 he left that ministry and began a deconversion journey that took him into the depths of depression and even contemplating suicide.
With professional help and lots of work, he is now happy in life as an editor at a news radio station in Seattle, and hosts a podcast called Living After Faith. The focus of this outreach is to help people come to a place of peace and happiness after deconverting from a life of faith, to a life of reason.