Jerry DeWitt had been preaching in and around Beauregard Parish, Louisiana since he was 17 years old. Full of warmth and gifted with electric Pentecostal oratory, he was a popular figure around town. He even planned to run for mayor. But when his 85-year old aunt discovered he was an atheist, the news spread quickly. Within a year he had lost his job, the bank had foreclosed on his house and his wife had left him.
But Jerry’s story only begins there. Thrust into the limelight by a New York Times profile, he unexpectedly finds himself at the center of a growing but dis-unified secular movement. He quickly learns to navigate the intricate politics of organized atheism and sets an audacious goal: to create a sustainable human-centered ministry in the heart of the Bible Belt. It may be an idea whose time has come. But can it happen in time to save his home and his family?
The Outcast of Beauregard Parish tells the inspiring story of one man who left the Pentecostal faith at great personal cost on his way to building a home for everyone who chooses to live beyond faith in god. After a lifetime of searching for a perfect Christian doctrine, he came to accept that there was no god ⎯- only a deeply human need for meaning. But when doors in DeRidder closed, they opened in new and unlikely places. Through his work with the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Clergy Project, as well as his speaking engagements all over the country, he has become an important voice in the free-thought movement.
To read more and donate to this worthy cause click here. They need pledges. This project will only be funded if at least $30,000 is pledged by Tuesday Jun 25, 9:00 PM EDT. If they don't raise the needed money, I was told by the producer via email, your money will be returned to you. It looks however, as if they will raise the money. This project looks to be very important and I hope they succeed. We need DeWitt's story to be told.