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Bishop Swilley at Theatrical Outfit: Word of Mouth | Community Spirit

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Bishop Swilley at Theatrical Outfit: Word of Mouth
Bishop Swilley at Theatrical Outfit: Word of Mouth

ATLANTA – (Theatrical Outfit) On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, Theatrical Outfit continues its twice-monthly noon-day series Word of Mouth, with guest speaker Bishop Jim Swilley, pastor of Church in the Now in Conyers, GA.

Bishop Swilley, who 25 years ago founded Church in the Now as a non-traditional, non-denominational, multiethnic independent church, has received international media attention in the past year due to his public admission that he is gay.  On Feb. 15th, he will share how he made his decision in hopes that his coming out would help to change conservative attitudes toward religion and break the cycle of suicides by young people unable to live with their homosexuality.

In Theatrical Outfit’s current production of Horton Foote’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Young Man From Atlanta, issues of suicide, sexual orientation and gender identity are among the emotionally charged themes explored, particularly as viewed by 1950s society, the era in which the piece is set.

The theater’s Executive Artistic Director Tom Key, who also plays the lead role in The Young Man From Atlanta, remarks, “At Theatrical Outfit we work to provide our diverse audiences, actors and artists with a rich theater experience and to produce works that stimulate thoughtful discussion. Similarly, our Word of Mouth series seeks to engage people and ignite conversation through shared stories, in an intimate and meaningful setting. We deeply appreciate Bishop Swilley’s willingness to speak about his personal experiences.”

Bishop Swilley, a graduate of Southeastern University, began preaching on the streets of Metropolitan Atlanta at the age of thirteen and has continued to do so throughout the United States and in many countries on five continents. He served for three years as president of a branch of New Life Bible College and has participated in leadership conferences in several countries. As a bishop, he served for 12 years on the College of Bishops of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches and has been recognized as an Ambassador of Peace by the United Peace Federation. Swilley also is a musician, songwriter, and author of numerous books. He has served as the full-time pastor of Church In The Now from 1985 until the present.

Tues., Feb. 15 from 12 pm to 1 pm. Tickets are $5 at the door (light refreshment included); no advance ticket sales. For more information call 678.528.1500 or visit www.theatricaloutfit.org.  Theatrical Outfit in The Balzer Theatre at Herren’s, 84 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA  30303.