Jerry DeWitt was a pastor in the small town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and a fixture of the community. He had begun to question his Pentecostal faith, however, and late one night in 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 had once formed the cornerstone of his life finally crumbled to dust.
When DeWitt was eventually outed as an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing his job, much of his family and nearly everything he’d known.
He has since become a leader and well-known speaker in America’s fast growing Secular movement. Hope after Faith tells the story of his life passage from a pastor with a deep Christian faith to a committed and considered atheism driven by Humanism, a profound moral dimension, and the happiness and self-confidence obtained by living free of supernaturalism.
Jerry DeWitt is an author, public speaker, secular minister, life coach, and business consultant who has been interviewed by the major news organizations numerous times in his three short years of secular activism, including The New York Times, CNN, The Joy Behar Show, Morning Joe, Time Magazine, and others.
His Christian ministry began at age seventeen. He evangelized in numerous locations throughout the Southern United States, assisted at three Pentecostal churches, and later held the pastorate of two fundamentalist congregations.
After more than twenty-five years of ministry, he realized he had become an atheist and that his motivation had been humanism (concern for the well-being of people) all along.
Now he sits on the board of the Foundation Beyond Belief and is a former board member of The Clergy Project, of which he was the very first member to go public about his non-belief. Most recently he has joined the start-up team for The Humanist House in Silicon Valley.
Currently, Jerry is engaged in several projects. Here's just a few:
Touring with his memoir, Hope After Faith.
Working with Bread and Butter Films to produce the documentary The Outcast of Beauregard Parish, which picks up where Hope After Faith leaves off.
Putting his many years of public service experience to good use as a professional advisor and independent consultant for various companies and organizations.
Jerry DeWitt has one son and still lives in DeRidder, Louisiana.
“Skepticism is my nature;
Freethought is my methodology;
Agnosticism is my conclusion;
Atheism is my opinion;
Humanism is my motivation."
— Jerry W. DeWitt
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