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Has Nashville grow to be the ‘new frontier’ of right this moment’s faith information universe? — GetReligion

Twenty years in the past, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work for The Related Press.

I spent lower than a 12 months in Music Metropolis earlier than transferring to Dallas, however oh, what a enjoyable 11 months for a faith reporter (and country music fan).

I coated the fight over a proposed Tennessee lottery and a prayer service on the night the Iraq War began, however a few of my favourite tales have been much less weighty:

A profile of a person who paid children $10 each to learn the Ten Commandments (till 15,000 “memorization affidavits” from throughout the nation flooded his mailbox after my story ran).

A characteristic on Gospel Music Week, when a few of Nashville’s hottest bars and nightspots traded lying-and-cheating songs for hymns about prayer and redemption.

An interview with the 104-year-old widow of a famous Black traveling evangelist.

Blame Liam Adams, The Tennessean’s faith reporter, for this journey down reminiscence lane.

In a captivating deep dive printed this week, Adams and his colleague Cole Villena delve into “Williamson County, the suburban ‘new frontier’ for American evangelical Christianity.”

“An already closely Christian space is on observe to grow to be a capital of evangelicalism within the U.S.,” the story asserts, referring to the fast-growing county south of Nashville.

I pointed out to Adams on Twitter that my household lived in Williamson County — Spring Hill, to be exact — in our temporary time within the Nashville space.

“All faith reporting roads lead by better Nashville apparently,” chimed in Christianity At this time’s Kate Shellnutt, herself a former Nashville resident.

Then Lifeway Analysis’s Aaron Earls added, “Now I am curious of all the present faith reporters who’ve been by Center TN and which of them we nonetheless want to attract right here for a stint.”

Me too! And my nostalgic mind was off to the races. So right here we’re, speaking about faith information in Nashville.

Talking of which, congrats to Holly Meyer, The Tennessean’s former faith author and now AP’s international faith information editor. She performed a key function in Tennessee Press Affiliation awards won by her former paper last week.

And congrats once more to Bob Smietana, one other former Williamson County resident and faith author for The Tennessean. His e book, “Reorganized Faith: The Reshaping of the American Church and Why It Issues,” got here out this week.

In case you missed it, I interviewed the author — now a Religion News Service national reporter —in final week’s Plug-in. It’s most likely no shock, however Nashville figures prominently within the anecdotes shared within the e book.

Is Nashville the middle of the faith information universe? For right this moment, let’s say so.

Energy Up: The Week’s Greatest Reads

1. Watering while Black: anatomy of a pastor’s Alabama arrest: “Michael Jennings wasn’t breaking any legal guidelines or doing something that was clearly suspicious; the Black minister was merely watering the flowers of a neighbor who was out of city.”

That’s how The Related Press’ Jay Reeves begins this must-read story.

Learn further protection by the New York Times’ Eduardo Medina and NPR’s Jonathan Franklin.

2. Attacked at home, Afghan Sikhs find community on Long Island: “After shedding three relations in an assault on his prayer corridor in Kabul in 2020, Kulwinder Singh Soni has discovered refuge in Lengthy Island,” an Associated Press tweet notes. “Sikhs and Hindus who have been persecuted for his or her beliefs again residence now stay facet by facet.”

This can be a highly effective story by Deepa Bharath of AP’s international faith workforce.

CONTINUE READING: “Is Nashville The Center Of The Religion News Universe? For At this time, Let’s Say So” by Bobby Ross, Jr., at Faith Unplugged.

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