|Sent on:||Friday, August 5, 2011 3:05 PM|
Brother Richard: There and Back Again
The AFS August 14 PROGRAM
(Atlanta) Atlanta Freethought Society President Steve Yothment announced today that “Brother Richard,” an internationally known atheist, founder of Atheist Nexus, and former preacher will speak to us on Sunday, 14 August: “There and Back Again.” Brother Richard—Richard Haynes—is, according to AFS President Steve Yothment, “well known as an engaging speaker and as a strong supporter of both local and national freethought and atheist groups.” (For more on Brother Richard, see below.)
The program will be preceded by conversation and socializing starting around noon, with the program start at 1 p.m. at AFS Hall, 4775 N. Church Lane, Smyrna 30080 (just off Atlanta Rd, inside 1-285—exit 16). “We welcome those who are not freethinkers but who just want to see our historic building or to learn more about the topic. All freethinkers are of course welcome—and we hope that they will decide to join as members in due course,” said Yothment. Many of the group will go out together after the program to eat at a nearby restaurant in the Smyrna-Vinings area.
The Atlanta Freethought Society is a member-run (all volunteer) non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization. The freethought hall that AFS owns was a church from 1866, when it was built, until 2001. Regular AFS meetings, free and open to the public, are held on the second Sunday afternoon of every month, with a variety of other events and activities each month as well. The regular meeting usually features a speaker (often nationally known) on religion, freethought, science, history, or some combination of these. AFS has published, under the auspices of its press—Freethought Press, seven books and dozens of calendars, brochures, and flyers. AFS has often led protests against church-state violations.
Richard Haynes (Brother Richard) is a writer and public speaker living in Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised in a nonreligious home, but as a teenage runaway, he had a "born again" religious experience. Almost immediately, Richard became an evangelist and personally led hundreds of individuals to Christ. Richard went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies, and became an associate minister in a 12,000-member Atlanta mega-church.
In 1993, a couple of months after the birth of his eldest daughter, Richard, and his wife Angela, made the agonizing decision to leave their church which was engulfed with scandal. Terrified and unemployed, they began their long and arduous journey to rationality and nontheism.
Richard is now secularly ordained and has dedicated himself to building nontheist communities, and encouraging others to "come out" of the atheist closet. He maintains the blog:LifeWithoutFaith.com; co-hosts the highly popular podcast: AtheistNews.org, which was voted “Best Religion / Inspirational Podcast” of 2010; and is the President of AtheistNexus.org, the world’s largest social network exclusively for non-theists.