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Lake Hypatia "Advance"

Lake Hypatia "Advance"

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Lake Hypatia "Advance" Speakers

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foxholememorial clrLake Hypatia "Advance (not Retreat) 
Glorious Fourth 2014 

Thursday, July 3 — Saturday July 5, 2014 

Rural Munford, Alabama
Sponsored by the Alabama Freethought Association & FFRF

Celebrate our 25th July 4th Lake Hypatia, Ala. event! 


danDan Barker is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and co-host of Freethought Radio. A former minister and evangelist, Dan became a freethinker in 1983. His books, "Just Pretend: A Freethought Book for Children" and "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher To Atheist" (1992) are published by the Foundation. His newest book, "The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God", was published by Ullysses Press in January, 2011. His previous book, the autobiographical "Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists", was published by Ulysses Prep in 2008. A graduate of Azusa Pacific University with a degree in religion, Dan now puts his knowledge of Christianity to effective freethought use. A professional pianist and composer, Dan performs freethought concerts and is featured in the Foundation's musical CDs, "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist," (2-volume) "Beware of Dogma," and "Adrift on a Star." He joined the Foundation staff in 1987 and served as public relations director. He was first elected co-president in November 2004. Dan will entertain at the piano during this event. 

jerrydewittJerry DeWitt realized he was an atheist after more than 25 years of Pentecostal ministry in his home state of Louisiana. His ministry experience begin at the early age of 17 and included evangelizing across the U.S. and being the assistant pastor of two United Pentecostal churches and one Apostolic church. During his dilemma with doubt Jerry ultimately held the senior pastorate of two very unique congregations, one charismatic dominionist and the other non-denominational fundamentalist. He also holds the distinction of being the first graduate of The Clergy Project. Even though Jerry has only been in the freethought movement for a short time, he’s already been honored with a seat on the board of directors for Atheist Nexus and was featured in The New York Times Magazine article "From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader." The RR mission is to coordinate and facilitate face-to-face meetings for those who desire support in leaving their religion. RR also facilitates online forums and resources in cooperation with other secular organizations and groups. It tries to connect those in need with secular therapists in their local community. Former minister Jerry DeWitt brings a broad understanding of the religious lifestyle and its effects on personal wellbeing to the non-theist movement. He’s a dynamic and entertaining public speaker with a heartfelt compassion for those struggling to completely free themselves from their religion. Jerry is the author of, "Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey from Belief to Atheism." 

algAnnie Laurie Gaylor is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and co-host of Freethought Radio. Gaylor was an editor of Freethought Today from 1984 to 2009, when Bill Dunn became editor and she became executive editor. The paper is published 10 times a year. Her book, "Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So," first published in 1981, is now in its 4th printing. In 1988, the Foundation published her book, "Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children," the first book documenting widespread sexual abuse by clergy. Her 1997 book, "Women Without Superstition: No Gods, No Masters" is the first collection of the writings of historic and contemporary women freethinkers. A 1980 graduate of the UW-Madison Journalism School, she was an award-winning student reporter and recipient of the Ken Purdy scholarship. After graduation, she founded, edited and published the Feminist Connection, a monthly advocacy newspaper, from 1980-1985. She joined the Foundation staff in 1985. She has been co-president since 2004. She co-founded the original FFRF with Anne Gaylor as a college student. Annie Laurie will give video updates on FFRF during this event. 

janetJanet Heimlich is an award-winning journalist and the author of "Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment," the first book to take an in-depth look at child abuse and neglect in the United States that is enabled by religious belief. She is also president of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that educates the public about the impact that religious, spiritual, and cultural beliefs and practices have on children. As a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, Ms. Heimlich won nine journalism awards, including the regional Katie and the Houston Press Club’s “Radio Journalist of the Year.” She has written non-fiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly magazine, Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine, the Texas Observer, and the Austin American-Statesman. Ms. Heimlich received a B.A. in Communications from Stanford University in 1984.

Gordon Maples is the Secular Student Alliance’s Regional Campus Organizer for the Southeastern United States, as well as the Manager of the SSA's Regional Program. He is a former President of the University of Alabama SSA affiliate (the Crimson Secular Student Alliance), and founded the Southeastern Collegiate Atheist Alliance in order to network with fellow secular student leaders from throughout the southeastern US. Originally from Alabama, Gordon is passionately dedicated to improving the situation and standing for atheists and nontheists in the American South. 


2012-04-05 13-03-38 420Michael Anthony Scott is a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and current president of The FFRF Georgia Chapter Inc. Michael, has BBA from Medaille College and a MHRM from Keller Graduate School of Management, with nearly twenty years of management experience in both the private and private sectors. Michael states, “During the past decade, I have studied both Christianity and Islam extensively, but not exclusively. My nonacademic background on the subject of theology, provides a unique and practical real world prospective on non-theism. His website can be found here



AndrewSeidelAndrew Seidel graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a B.S. in neuroscience and environmental science and magna cum laude from Tulane University Law School, where he was awarded the Haber J. McCarthy Award for excellence in environmental law. He studied human rights and international law at the University of Amsterdam and traveled the world on Semester at Sea. In May of 2011, Andrew completed his Master of Laws at Denver University Sturm College of Law with a 4.0 GPA and was awarded the Outstanding L.L.M. Award. He has written a book on International Human Rights Law and his essay on the role of religion in government and the founding of our nation placed second in the FFRF's 2010 graduate student essay contest. Andrew is a former Grand Canyon tour guide and accomplished nature photographer; his work has been displayed in galleries in Colorado, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Maryland. He joined the FFRF staff as a constitutional consultant in November 2011.



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Lake Hypatia "Advance" Photos

Written by

July 2014

To view more photos from this album, click on the image below. 


July 2011

Photos by Annie Laurie Gaylor & Dan Barker

Photos by Alex G.

Photos by Phil and Sharron King

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Written by
foxholememorial clrLake Hypatia "Advance (not Retreat) 
Glorious Fourth 2014 

Thursday, July 3 — Saturday July 5, 2014 

Rural Munford, Alabama
Sponsored by the Alabama Freethought Association & FFRF

Holiday Inn Express
240 Haynes St.
Talladega AL 35160

Hampton Inn & Suites
210 Colonial Dr
Oxford AL 36203

Super 8 Motel 
220 Haynes Street
Talladega, AL

Budget Inn Motel
65600 Hwy 77
Talladega, AL

If you would like to camp, we can accommodate self-contained RV’s and campers. Also, there is ample room to pitch a tent and get back to nature. Showers and restrooms are available. Please check box on registration form if you plan to camp. Sorry, no pets allowed on campgrounds.

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Map and Directions

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View Larger Map

From Atlanta I-20

Take exit 185 (Oxford/Anniston)
Go South on Hwy 21 toward Talladega
Go through Munford
Turn Left on County Road 321
Go to 2nd 4-way stop
Turn Left on Country Road 303
Go to top of hill (Big Star)
Turn Right on Lake Joan Circle Immediately ahead are the parking areas

From Montgomery Hwy 231

Go North on Hwy 21 to Talladega
Turn right on Hwy 77 South
Go about 6 miles to caution light
Turn Left on Country Road 303
Go through 4-way stop
Go to top of hill (Big Star)
Turn Right on Lake Joan Circle Immediately ahead are the parking areas

From Birmingham I-20

Take exit 168 (Talladega/Lincoln)
Go South on Hwy 77
Go through Talladega, on Hwy 77 South
Go about 4 miles to caution light
Turn Left on Country Road 303
Go through 4-way stop.
Go to top of hill (Big Star)
Turn Right on Lake Joan Circle Immediately ahead are the parking areas

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Lake Hypatia "Advance" (not Retreat)

Written by
foxholememorial clrGlorious Fourth 2014 

Thursday, July 3 — Saturday July 5, 2014 

Rural Munford, Alabama
Sponsored by the Alabama Freethought Association & FFRF

To view photos from this year, click on the image below. 



If you’re looking for camaraderie with freethinkers and informative speakers in a relaxing, lakeside setting, register now for the annual July 4th celebration at FFRF’s southern, air-conditioned Freethought Hall at Lake Hypatia, near Talladega, Alabama. Sponsored by the Alabama Freethought Association, the oldest FFRF chapter, and its co-director Patricia Cleveland, the event takes place Thursday, July 3, through Saturday, July 5. FFRF will co-sponsor, with Co-President Dan Barker entertaining at the piano and Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor providing video updates on FFRF legal and other activities. Download our brochure, today! 

Registration begins now for Alabama Freethought Association’s annual event on July 3rd through 5th!

  • $20 members
  • $25 non-FFRF members
  • $15 adult meals
  • $10 kids’ meals

Some of the fun we have scheduled:

  • Stimulating Speakers
  • Freethought Jeopardy, with Martin & Cheryl Lewison as emcees
  • The annual “atheists vs. agnostics” volleyball match
  • Craft events for children 
  • A complimentary July 3 hotdog lunch (vegetarian options offered.) Other group meals in the breezy Lakeside Pavilion
  • “Debaptisms” in Lake Hypatia, presided over by Patricia Cleveland


(Mention the Alabama Freethought Association for the group rate
Holiday Inn
240 Haynes St
Talladega, AL, 35160
(256) 362-7780

In addition, the Cleveland family generously offers their personal grounds around Freethought Hall for RV or primitive campers who register for the event and reserve space in advance. Showers and toilets are available onsite for campers at Freethought Hall. Registration begins 10 a.m., Thursday, July 3, with programs all day Friday, July 4 and a brunch concluding the event at noon, Saturday, July 5.

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About Lake Hypatia

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History of Lake Hypatia and the AFA Advance

Lake Hypatia pavillion

Roger, Pat and Melody Cleveland of Alabama dreamed of a freethought "advance, not retreat," right in the buckle of the bible belt. The Alabama Freethought Association, which Pat and Roger Cleveland founded, and which is the Foundation's largest chapter, has worked invaluably as an umbrella organization of atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers to keep church and state separate in Alabama. The Alabama Freethought Association took the original lawsuit challenging Judge Roy Moore's courtroom Ten Commandments in Gadsden, Ala.

In the 1990s, the Cleveland family deeded land to the national Freedom From Religion Foundation, which raised funds to construct the Lake Hypatia Freethought Hall. An addition, the beautiful Willa E. Whatley Auditorium, was dedicated in 1999. The Clevelands also invited the national Foundation to place its Atheists in Foxholes monument at Lake Hypatia, a peaceful spot to recognize the country's many atheist and agnostic veterans.

Every year, with authentic Southern Hospitality, the Cleveland family generously opens its beautiful, improved grounds and lake to hundreds of freethinkers from all over the country for the annual "Glorious Fourth" Independence Day celebration. Speeches are conducted in the air-conditioned Lake Hypatia Freethought Hall, and outdoor recreation takes place on the Cleveland's rural campgrounds.

Primitive camping is available on the upper and lower campgrounds (local motels a few miles away), swimming in the lake or Cady Creek natural lagoon, fishing, paddle boats, dining at the lakeside Pavilion, great speakers and most of all the experience of making new friends, renewing old friendships and mingling with fellow freethinkers.

Map of Lake Hypatia.

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