I recently did a series of portraits for Atlanta Magazine to accompany their article “Unorthodox” about local religious leaders approaching their faith in unique and, at times, controversial ways. On my own volition, I decided, along with fellow cameraman Keith Roberts, to film one of the stories three subjects, Pastor Dennis Meridith, during a service at Atlanta’s Tabernacle Baptist Church. Pastor Dennis, as it turns out, is openly gay – a true anomaly for most Christian denominations and a brave move in the Baptist church. Click to experience.
I also photographed Pastor 7, a former biker thug converted while in solitary confinement. Now the leader of 7 Bridges To Recovery Church, Pastor 7 runs an outreach program for the homeless, housing many in a building on the premises and taking aid, and the Word, to Atlanta’s underpasses – home to an entire subset of destitute peoples.
Finally, I spent some time and photographed Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, Episcopal priest, Christian feminist and celebrated author. Rev. Taylor made waves when she lost faith – not in religion, but in the business of religion and left her ministry. This is the subject of her book Leaving Church (HarperSanFrancisco (aka HarperOne), 2006). She had a great sense of humor, laughed a lot, was very personable and, for one who admits to not liking having her photo taken – did great.
I’d like to give a big shout out to Gretchen Hilmers for the retouching!