Teresa MacBain made headlines as the former pastor-turned prominent atheist then returned to a life of faith. After serving in ministry for most of her adult life, Teresa walked away from her faith and came out publicly as a non-believer. Having walked the path from losing faith to atheism and back, Teresa hopes her story will help raise awareness for the struggle faced by seekers and skeptics. Her desire is to promote compassion and understanding while encouraging religious organizations to provide safety, support, and community to those who feel alone in their struggle.

During one of the most difficult periods of her life, she began working to strip away the last pieces of her childhood indoctrination. As she peeled away the layers of fundamentalism, she discovered something unexpected: FAITH. Not the closed-minded, judgmental belief she was raised to believe, but an inclusive, compassionate, and accepting, faith.

The Band at Goat Island

She describes her transformation as a realization of grace:

I don’t believe as I did in childhood or as a fundamentalist, but I do believe that there is something more, something spiritual. I’m ok with not being able to define everything, not in a blind faith manner, but with an honest belief where questions are a part of the experience. For most of my life, I believed that doubt was the opposite of faith, but that’s not true. I agree with what philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich said about faith and doubt, “Doubt is not the opposite of faith: it is one element of it.”

Currently, Teresa is working in communications and consulting. She also plays guitar and keys in her church band. She lives in Alabama with her husband, son, and four fur-babies. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging out with her family, playing music with a local band, or enjoying a game of fetch with her pups.

“Grace is when you aren’t striving or controlling or trying to change or manipulate or make something happen. Grace is when you find yourself carried along, when all that’s left to do is receive. Grace is when you know you’re loved, exactly as you are. Grace is an entirely different way of experiencing life.”  Rob Bell