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.
Dr. Caleb Lack, Secular Therapy Project Director
Caleb is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he directs the training clinic and coordinates graduate practicums. 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 50 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. He writes the "Great Plains Skeptic" column on the Skeptic Ink Network, "Separating Truths from Myths" for the Center for Inquiry, and presents and debates about skepticism and critical thinking frequently.
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 brilliant son and various livestock on a wonderful little property called Freethought Farm.
Bill Berger & Brian Fleming, Resource Curators
Our Resource Curators see to it that the links on the Resources page of our website are helpful to people making the move from faith to reason. The Resources include a mix of websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, books, and essays that are categorized for non-believers, believers, seekers & doubters, and those looking for mental health support. We welcome Resource suggestions from our clients, volunteers, and supporters.
Dr. Sharon Sanders, grant writer
Sharon Sanders is a retired professor of psychology with a masters degree in lifespan developmental psychology and a doctorate in experimental psychology, with a health concentration. She taught eighteen different psychology courses over twenty-four years for California State University, San Bernardino and the University of Cincinnati - Clermont College before retiring from teaching to settle in the warmth of the Nevada desert. Her research interests and fields of expertise are adult stress, child abuse, and human needs. She has extensive research training and uses her skills as a grant writer/researcher for fund-raising to help extend the scope of Recovering From Religion in supporting those of our community who are dealing with the consequences of their “de-conversion” from religion.
Sharon was raised in the Mormon church, but walked away at nineteen years of age. What followed was many years of study of all the world’s religions, more years spent with “new age” spirituality, agnosticism for twelve more years before fully embracing atheism. As is the experience of many others, she found herself socially isolated and estranged from family and some of her former friends when she went public in March 2017. Reaching out to find a community of like-minded people, she discovered Recovering From Religion and joined the helpline chat group for finding community which led to her desire to volunteer her skills in helping others in a similar situation.
Today Sharon lives, works, and plays in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the mother of two sons and grandmother of nine grandchildren. In addition to being a part-time promotions ambassador for Caesar's Entertainment, she is writing books of both fiction and non-fiction, is an avid oil painter, and a poet. Her home life is enlivened by four parakeets who sing and chirp all day making a great deal of racket!
Todd A Yoder, hotline Director
In 2017 I retired as a firefighter from Fort Smith, AR. We now call Nashville TN home. I love the outdoors and adventures. I am a big backpacker, cyclist, snowboarder and traveler. I’m a big fan and promotor of Street Epistemology
Both sides of my parents were Old Order Amish (Horse and Buggy) they both left the Amish as young adults and joined the Mennonite church. I was raised in an Amish/Mennonite community but eventually our family went to an independent fundamentalist Bible Church. The short story is that as a young adult, I married, moved from the community and became an active member of a Christian Church in Fort Smith, AR.
My de-conversion started around 2010 when digging into my early family history. My questioning started when seeing the early persecution of the Anabaptist people from both the Catholics and Protestants along with the Swiss government. This led me to the discovery of the sanctioning of violence between the Catholic and Protestant on both sides, which led me to the study of early church history, which led me to Dr. Bart D Ehrman, which made me question the reliability of the scriptures.
I consider myself as a humanist who is an agnostic atheist. My wife calls herself a “Christian Atheist.” We’ve both lost our lifelong “church friends” in the typical manner.
Tim Rymel, podcast host
Tim Rymel is the author of Rethinking Everything: When Faith and Reality Don’t Make Sense (2018), Going Gay (2014), and the business book, Everything I Learned About Management I Learned From Having A Kindergartner (2012). He is also a member of the American Psychological Association in both educational psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Issues. He holds a graduate degree in education from Colorado State University where he focused his research on cognition and transformative learning.
Tim was an evangelical Christian minister for nearly 25 years, including six years as a leader in “ex-gay” ministry at what was once the world’s oldest and most renowned conversion therapy organization. During that time he married a woman and they had two daughters. Following his divorce Tim began rethinking everything he believed to be true.
Tim’s work has appeared in HuffPost and the Good Men Project where he writes on the confluence of religion, politics and sexuality. He has also been featured on Fox News Radio, Vice News Media, and Public Radio, and in several media outlets, including ThinkProgress, BuzzFeed, and the Advocate.
Bill Prickett, podcast host
Bill Prickett was raised in Birmingham, Alabama during the historic time of advancing civil rights. As editor of his school newspaper, he had the opportunity to hear the stories, concerns and fears of black and white students—his introduction to the struggle for equality.
During college, he decided to pursue ministry as a vocation. He earned a bachelor's degree in Religion from Samford University, with a double minor in English and Psychology, and attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the 80s, Bill got involved with the “ex-gay” movement, where he eventually became a leader, speaker and consultant. When he realized his sexual orientation had not changed, he left the ministry and went on to build a successful career in public relations and communications.
He was in church ministry for 25 years, including 11 years as senior pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in Birmingham, and later, the pastor of a predominately LGBTQ congregation in Fort Worth. For more than 3 decades, he’s been speaking out about the deception and dangers of “ex-gay” programs.
Bill is a blogger, has written three novels and is currently working on his fourth, all set in the deeply religious culture of the South. Now retired, he lives in the Dallas area with his husband and their rescue mutt, Brody. The couple is involved in a progressive Church.