Hope After Faith - Jerry DeWitt (Grand Rapids)
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Women's City Club, 254 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI, View Map
Presented by Jerry DeWitt, Author, Secular Minister and Vice President, Dogma Debate LLC
Regretfully Nate Phelps will be unable to join us as planned. In his place we welcome Jerry DeWitt:
Jerry DeWitt was born and bred into the church and was a Pentecostal preacher for many years before arriving at atheism through an extraordinary dialogue with faith that spanned more than a quarter of a century. Hope After Faith is his account of that journey and his evolution toward a committed and considered atheism, one driven by humanism, a profound moral dimension, and a happiness and self-confidence obtained through living free of fear.
DeWitt was a pastor in DeRidder, Louisiana, and was a fixture of the community. In private, however, he’d begun to question his faith. Late one night in May 2011, a member of his flock called seeking prayer for her brother who had been in a serious accident. As DeWitt searched for the right words to console her, speech failed him, and he found that the faith which once had formed the cornerstone of his life had finally crumbled to dust. When it became public knowledge that DeWitt was now an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing nearly everything he’d known.
DeWitt’s struggle for identity and meaning mirrors the one currently facing millions of people around the world. With both agnosticism and atheism entering the mainstream—one in five Americans now claim no religious affiliation according to a recent study—the moment has arrived for a new atheist voice, one that is respectful of faith and religious traditions yet warmly embraces a life free of religion, finding not skepticism and cold doubt but rather profound meaning and hope.
Copies of Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey from Belief to Atheism will be available for purchase at this event.
About the Speaker
Jerry DeWitt is an Author, Public Speaker, Secular minister and V.P. of Dogma Debate LLC. He now sits on the board of both The Clergy Project and The Foundation Beyond Belief.
His Christian ministry began at age seventeen. He evangelized the United States and assisted in three Pentecostal churches. Later he held the pastorate of two fundamentalist congregations. After more than twenty-five years of ministry he realized he had become an Atheist.
DeWitt has made numerous appearances on major news-outlets in the two short years of his activism, including appearances in The New York Times, CNN, the Joy Behar Show, and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”. Currently Jerry is engaged in two projects. First, building a Secular “church” community in Lake Charles Louisiana named Community Mission Chapel and second, touring with his memoir ‘Hope After Faith’, which was release in June 2013 by Da Capo Press. Jerry DeWitt has one son and still lives in rural Louisiana.
Meetings are open to the Public
After the meeting, join us at Vitale's Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map
Cost: FREE / Suggested Donation $5. Ways to Support CFI & Donate Online
Contact: Jennifer Beahan, , 616-698-2342