The Clergy Project Speakers Bureau
Communicating our values and sharing our stories
About our members and speakers
Members of the Clergy Project come from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. Despite this, we have more in common than having each ministered or pastored to a community. Our speakers also have a history of engaging in dialogue and providing thoughtful and impactful presentations. Since launching our public webpage in October 2011, Clergy Project members have spoken at secular events across North America. These presentations have provided our speakers with an opportunity to features their skills as effective and vibrant presenters.
The Clergy Project Speakers Bureau was created to assist our Speakers with keeping up with the demand of speaking requests. If you are interested in booking one of our speakers for your conference or event please email our Executive Director, Catherine Dunphy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catherine will follow up with you regarding speaking fees and availability.
Jerry DeWitt is an Author, Public Speaker and Secular minister which has made the major news-outlets numerous times in his two short years of activism. Jerry holds the distinction of being the first The Clergy Project active male pastor who came out as an atheist. DeWitt's Christian ministry began at age seventeen. He evangelized the United States and assisted in three Pentecostal churches. Later he held the pastorate of two fundamentalist congregations. After more than twenty-five years of ministry he realized he had become an Atheist.
Currently Jerry is engaged in two projects. First, building a Secular "church" community in Lake Charles Louisiana named Community Mission Chapel and second, touring with his memoir 'Hope After Faith', which was released in June 2013 by Da Capo Press. He also sits on the Board of Directors of both The Clergy Project and The Foundation Beyond Belief. Jerry DeWitt has one son and still lives in rural Louisiana.
Catherine is the acting Executive Director for the Clergy Project. She is a former Roman Catholic Chaplain who left the church when she recognized that she was no longer a believer. Catherine completed both an undergraduate and masters degree in Theology. As one of the original 52 members of the project, Catherine has been volunteering to help organize the Clergy Project from the beginning. She is a Screener and a member of the volunteer Board of Directors and she is actively working on projects to benefit Clergy Project members.
Mark Palmer is a legally blind attorney and Atheist-Humanist activist living in Tallahassee, Florida. He is a former Mormon Elders Quorum President (leader of a congregational men's ministry). He served a 2-year Mormon mission in north Florida from 1997 to 1999, graduated from Brigham Young University in 2002, and belatedly rejected supernaturalism in 2007. He founded the Tallahassee Atheists while attending Florida State University College of Law, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 2010. Palmer serves as the executive director of the Humanists of Florida Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Clergy Project.
As one of the original 52 members of the Clergy Project, Robert Parham is a former Southern Baptist minister, with 13 years of experience in ministry. Having earned his Bachelor's of Music in Church Music from Samford University. It was while serving full-time as Minister of Music and Youth, that he decided to forego seminary and attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he earned his first Master's Degree in Agency Counseling. It was during graduate school that Robert began to challenge his conservative Christian beliefs and began the emotionally difficult and gradual process of giving up belief. Robert completed a second Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology and is now president of Parham & Associates, P.C., a private practice where he works as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider in Tacoma, Washington. Robert volunteers as a Screener and on the Board of Directors. Recently he was appointed acting Treasurer of The Clergy Project.