Leaving Salem

Ronnie McBrayerRonnie McBrayer was born in the foothills of the North Georgia Appalachians. He claims he barely survived the fire-and-brimstone, fundamentalist indoctrination of his hard shell Baptist-reared childhood. But in the great comedy of God, Ronnie has spent his adulthood in ministry, both preaching in and protesting against; both loving and leaving; both running away from and returning to the church. The faith he is trying to keep isn’t in organized religion, however. It is in Jesus.

Ronnie has been a pastor, chaplain, leader in social justice ministries, and a writer. His post-Katrina relief work with Habitat for Humanity was featured by the CBS Evening News and the New York Times, and his writings have been featured in various media outlets. He holds degrees in Christian Education and Theology, with post-graduate studies in Bio-Ethics and Critical Incident Stress Management; and Ronnie is an active volunteer with the Fuller Center for Housing.

McBrayer’s weekly newspaper column, “Keeping the Faith,” began as a devotional article for his local newspaper. It is now a past Florida Press Association award winner in Religion, and is nationally syndicated. He is the author of multiple books and publications including Leaving Religion, Following Jesus, and the soon to be released The Jesus Tribe, both published by Smyth and Helwys. Correspond with Ronnie at