April 30, 2012

For clergy, lost faith can lead to lost family, jobs

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Teresa MacBain of Tallahassee, Fla. was a Methodist pastor for 10 years, in March of 2012 she spoke at the American Atheist convention and announced she no longer believed in God. MacBain left her position as senior pastor at Lake Jackson United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, a post she held for 3.5 years, prior to speaking at the conference. RNS photo by Colin Hackley Photo

Teresa MacBain of Tallahassee, Fla. was a Methodist pastor for 10 years, in March of 2012 she spoke at the American Atheist convention and announced she no longer believed in God. MacBain left her position as senior pastor at Lake Jackson United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, a post she held for 3.5 years, prior to speaking at the conference. RNS photo by Colin Hackley Photo

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BETHESDA, Md. (RNS) The goal of the Clergy Project is not to pull pastors from the pulpit, but to provide those who have already lost their faith with a safe place to anonymously discuss what what’s next. By Kimberly Winston.

  • coltakashi

    What seems to be missing from this article is any concern about the congregants who have been looking to these atheist pastors for years to teach them how to acquire and retain their faith, and how to be motivated to live as a worshipper of God. These ministers have been taking money from people under false pretenses. Seems to me they ought to have resigned and found work as shoe salesmen or web page designers when their doubts became persistent, well before they got to the point where they announced they had joined the “enemy”, so to speak.

    I think this story would be more interesting if it gave some insight into what it was that had led them to work as ministers in the first place. In other words, did they ever live in a place where they felt the reality of God and were motivated by their personal witness to become a minister to otyhers and encourage their belief in deity? Or was it always a cynical ploy, a way to earn a living with a degree in counseling?

  • viator16

    It is truly sad when anyone loses their faith, but it is scandelous when a minister loses his, hers, its faith. It doesn’t surprise me that a female from the UMC and an nondenominational church minister loses their faith. This is what I would expect. Neither should have ever been ministers. At least they had the decency to leave. It’s the atheists clergy in the liberal mainline denominations that bother me the most. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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