Recovering from Religion is thrilled to have a diverse and talented group on board as our staff. Each staff member brings not only experience and skill, but a unique perspective on helping those who are dealing with the negative impact of religion in their everyday lives.
Gayle Jordan, Executive Director
Gayle is a former Southern Baptist who left the faith 10 years ago when her then-teenagers began asking questions she could not answer. Her research led her (and her children) into the light of reason and rationality. Years later, she still feels the effects, both positive and negative, of that dramatic shift in perspective and attitude. It is this sympathy and compassion that drives her to reach out to help others navigate the emotional and physical process involved in leaving one's faith.
Gayle is an attorney and former personal trainer. She lives on Freethought Farm in middle Tennessee, where she spends her days amongst her longhorns, goats, donkeys, chickens, and dogs. She blogs about life on the farm, endurance event training, and secularism at Happy. Healthy. Heathen.
Sarah Jane Wood - Hotline Project Director
Sarah Jane grew up in the Episcopal Church but explored several other religions and philosophies before finally leaving religion behind altogether. She has considered herself an agnostic atheist for most of a decade. She credits much of her atheism to her family’s, friends’, and church’s openness to doubt and hard questions.
Sarah Jane holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. She joined the Hotline Project before it launched and has worked on the Project as an agent, mentor, supervisor, and trainer. In addition to her work on the Hotline Project, Sarah Jane is a professional editor and research assistant.
Sarah Jane lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband, John, and their three cats, Toast, Mr. Gwen, and Black Cat. When she’s not working, Sarah Jane loves to travel, scuba dive, and play video games.
Patrick Horst, Support Groups Director
Patrick was raised a preacher’s kid whose background is Mennonite/Amish and pacifist. Now an atheist and a combat veteran, he just completed 12 years of service in the U.S. Army. He is a former missionary kid who speaks seven languages, including Italian, Spanish, German, Sicilian, Arabic, and Lebanese. He lives in Christian County, KY, where he is the father of two children he is raising with their Christian mother. He has a special soft spot for the challenges of families struggling over different belief systems.
Patrick decided to come out as an atheist in 2013 after his beloved six-year-old daughter came home from Sunday School and told him point-blank “You’re going to Hell!” This heartbreaking moment forged his passion for building welcoming secular communities, so he could introduce his kids to some of the wonderful people who, just like their daddy, are good without a belief in God.
He also has a special heart for secular people who feel isolated in highly religious areas. Patrick is a co-founder of the annual Nashville Nones Convention (“NaNoCon”), which launched with 400 participants this past March. He is a Board member at Sunday Assembly Nashville, where he was a founding band member back in 2013. He is also a frequent speaker on New Humanism topics, including “Secular Values: The power of saying what you DO believe!”
Dr. Caleb Lack, Secular Therapy Project - Director
Caleb is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Practicum Coordinator in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Oklahoma. A clinical psychologist licensed to practice in Oklahoma , Dr. Lack is the author of six books (including Critical Thinking, Science, & Pseudoscience: Why You Can't Trust Your Brain) and more than 40 scientific publications. In addition, Dr. Lack has presented nationwide and internationally at conferences on a variety of topics, including obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, paranormal belief and skepticism, innovative teaching and training methods, and more. He is on the editorial board of several scientific journals and a reviewer for both journals and granting agencies.
In addition to courses on his clinical and research specialties, Dr. Lack also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on critical thinking, science, and pseudoscience. These recently culminated in an wiki as well as a series of documentaries on pseudoscience and superstition in Oklahoma. He writes the "Great Plains Skeptic" column on the Skeptic Ink Network, as well as presenting about skepticism and critical thinking frequently. Dr. Lack is also the founding advisor of the UCO Skeptics, a campus group dedicated to the application and promotion of reason and scientific skepticism in all areas of life.
A native Oklahoman, Dr. Lack grew up in the rural community of Mountain View, where his parents still reside and farm and ranch on land that has been owned by the family for close to 100 years. He currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with his beautiful wife and brilliant son on a wonderful little property called Freethought Farm.