Friday, 5 February 2016
Three Seconds of Fame
Last week a reporter from Channel 9 News, Chattanooga's local ABC station, contacted me by phone in order to ask me some questions about recent trends in church decline and growth. I explained over the phone that I am a religious historian and not a sociologist, and so the best information that I could offer would be from a historical perspective. I then started to narrate the story of how the South became the so-called "Bible Belt," including how an influx of Baptist and Methodist groups in the 18th and 19th centuries populated the region, helping to create an environment where evangelicalism flourished.
After a few minutes of discussion on the phone, the reporter asked if she could stop by my office within the next hour to talk some more. She brought along with her a cameraman and equipment to interview me for an hour in my office. I talked about all kinds of information on the growth and decline of churches in the South, avoiding questions about specific churches in the Chattanooga area.
Click here for the the result of that interview and the portion of my conversation with her that aired on television last night.