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Atlanta 500: Religion opener

Atlanta 500: Religion, Nonprofits, & Advocacy

These are Atlanta's 500 most powerful leaders. We spent months consulting experts and sorting through nominations to get a list of the city's most influential people—from artists to chefs to philanthropists to sports coaches and corporate CEOs. In this section, we focus on advocacy, nonprofit organizations, and religion.
Salem Camp Meeting

Each summer, faithful flock to Covington, Georgia for one of the country’s oldest Christian revivals

Salem Camp Ground in Covington, site of one of the country’s oldest Christian revivals, started out as a brush arbor—a few poles draped with tree branches to give worshipers shade from the summer sun. That was in 1835. The Civil War was still a generation away. Covington was a new town with a fledgling square a few miles down the road from Salem.

Editor’s Note: A welcome tonic

The knock against journalists—well, one of the knocks against journalists—is that they’re cynical. Too focused on what’s wrong, not near enough focused on what’s right. For most of my career, my reaction to the criticism was pretty standard.
Worship fitness

Worship workout: Atlantans combine faith and fitness

They say the body is a temple, and some people certainly treat the gym like a church, following the workout of the day like it’s one of the Ten Commandments. But these days, some Christian church­goers are doing more to combine faith and fitness, placing a premium on the health of the body as well as the soul.

Scared Grateful

When I was a kid, I feared the apocalypse. But religion just angered my mother. When the pasty neighborhood Pentecostals approached us on the sidewalk, extending their damp pamphlets and their harbingers of doom, my mother would stick her arm out traffic-cop style and shout, “Get back!,” like she was warding off an attack by bears.

Walk with Him

He first appeared to me last November at a bar where I’d gone to watch the Falcons–Saints game. As usual, there were spirited drinkers with heavy beards milling around and grown-ups playing Golden Tee.

When Hollis Met George

I had sex with George Clooney. Not many people know this—or, I should say, not enough people know this—but not because I don’t broadcast it. I do. George Clooney, by the way, may disagree with me. But I have witnesses.

47. Listen to MLK

There are few places in Atlanta we call sacred, but the sanctuary of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church is one of them.

25. Buy a bonsai tree—from a monk

In 1944 a handful of Trappist monks established a community in the woods outside of Conyers.

Southern Kosher

You have asked me, as a Southern writer, to produce a short personal essay on my Southern identity. I cannot do it.

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