Every Day Is Sunday: As atheism rises, nonbelievers find one another

Feb 23, 2017

By Shelia M. Poole

Jeff Newport can cite the Bible chapter and verse.

He went to Christian schools, attended church every Sunday and delivered his first sermon at 13.

In 1996, he was called to pastor a small Baptist church in Jesup with a congregation of about 30 for Sunday morning services.

“Everything revolved around church,” Newport said. “We would not have even thought of missing a service unless we were ill. Family Bible reading and prayer were normal activities — we never had a meal, even in public, for which we didn’t say a blessing.”

Today, though, the 46-year-old Savannah man considers himself a nonbeliever.

He lost faith in faith.

It’s not easy being a nonbeliever or a skeptic in the Bible Belt South.

Move to a new city. Start a new job. Or meet a potential romantic interest.

One of the first things you’re asked is: Where do you go to church?

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