Former Pastor Jerry DeWitt Returns to Little Rock

Jerry DeWitt returns to Little Rock to inform and inspire.

Sunday, October 19th, 2014
1:30pm
Cox Creative Center, 3rd floor conference room
120 River Market Avenue
Little Rock, AR

Jerry DeWitt is a former pastor of two churches surrounding DeRidder, Louisiana, a town where two-thirds of the population report membership in a faith organization. DeWitt first experienced doubts about his religious beliefs when he contemplated the idea of hell. He later found himself unable to invoke God's help after a congregant asked him to pray for her injured brother. He preached for the last time in April 2011.

After becoming aware that he no longer held supernatural beliefs, DeWitt joined the Clergy Project, a group which lends confidential support to preachers who no longer believe in God. The Clergy Project was founded by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Linda LaScola, and former preacher Dan Barker.

DeWitt's outing as an atheist occurred in October 2011 after a photo circulated online of DeWitt and Dawkins, taken at a meeting of freethinkers. DeWitt was the first member of the Clergy Project to drop anonymity and speak freely about his involvement in the project. After more information emerged on Dewitt's loss of faith, he was fired from his secular job, and his wife left him.

In 2011 and 2012, he served as the executive director of Recovering from Religion, a Kansas City-based organization which helps former theists recover from the trauma of their religious indoctrination and subsequent experiences.

DeWitt has written a book based on his career and experiences entitled Hope After Faith. The 288-page autobiographical book was written by Dewitt and Ethan Brown, and published in 2013 by Da Capo Press.