Disclaimer: “Georgia Preach: Musings on Life, Ministry, God & Culture From A Pastor Livin’ In the Peach State” is solely my own musings. Thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed on this blog (with the exception of sermons) does not directly represent the PC(USA) church or denomination of which I serve as an ordained minister of the Word and Sacrament.
Bio: My name is Andy Acton and I’m an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). I’ve served as the associate pastor for Youth and Mission & Outreach at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, Georgia since 2008.
I live in Gwinnett County with my wife Elizabeth, daughter Katie, son Davis, mother-in-law Anne (aka Nana), a grey tabby cat named Harper (Lee), and a black lab named Wally (after the Disney Pixar movie).
A former newspaper journalist, I’ve been blogging since 2004, often reflecting on life, theology, ministry, and culture.
I received a BA in journalism from Auburn University in 1998. (WAR EAGLE!)
I got my MDiv from Columbia Theological Seminary in 2005 and was ordained shortly thereafter.
I’m a huge music fan of U2 (360 Tour at the Georgia Dome in 2008), Paul Simon (So Beautiful or So What Tour at Chasten Park in 2011) and Mumford & Sons (Arrow Through The Heartland Tour at Gwinnett Infinite Energy Center in 2016).
I’m a movie and TV-buff and a book nut who enjoys looking at the intersection of faith and pop culture…
Favorite movies: Star Wars IV-VII, Rogue One, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, All The President’s Men, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Dark Knight, Inception, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Remember The Titans, Selma, 42, The Book of Life, Kubo & The Two Strings, Zootopia, and The Shawshank Redemption.
Favorite current TV shows: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Black-Ish, Speechless, One Day at A Time (reboot) Stranger Things, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Atlanta, Sherlock, The Big Bang Theory and New Girl.
Favorite old TV shows: M*A*S*H, The Andy Griffith Show, LOST, Fringe, Firefly, Luther
Favorite books: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, The Dark Tower series by Stephen King; The Ocean At The End of the Lane by Neil Geiman, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, The Preservationist by David Maine and Lamb: The Gospel of Christ According to His Best Friend Biff by Christopher Moore.
I also love comics, the dailies and the comic format known as a graphic novel. I have a collection in my office, most of which focus on themes of faith and spirituality and/or historic events (i.e. Civil Rights, Holocaust, 9-11).
Spider-Man is my childhood hero. (Excelsior!) and Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side shaped my sense of humor at an early age. I a growing collection of Funko Pop characters (Star Wars, Marvel Heroes, Harry Potter); Doctor Who action figures, a LOST Mr. Eko action figure (complete with Jesus stick); a LEGO Beatles’ Yellow Submarine and LEGO Doctor Who Tardis; an autographed copy of a Flash comic by actor John Wesley Shipp who played the title character in the 1991 series The Flash and Dawson O’Leary’s dad in the popular show Dawson’s Creek.
Samuel Adams, Newcastle, Fat Tire and Guinness are my beers of choice and I like the occasional bourbon.
I’ve heard Desmond Tutu, my hero in the faith, speak twice, first at the National Cathedral in D.C. in 2007 and then at The Festival of Homiletics in Atlanta in 2009.
Elizabeth and I were in the audience during a live taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2007.
When I was a newspaper reporter in Birmingham in the late 90s, I had an opportunity to attend a press conference for legendary newsman Walter Cronkite who was planning to go back on the air to cover then-Senator John Glenn’s second flight into space. I was the last one in the room to get the mic at the end of the press conference. I asked Cronkite how he felt about being labeled “The most trusted man in American.” Cronkite leaned back, smiled and said, “Well, it kept me out of the singles bars.”
As a newspaper reporter, I covered the police and firefighters beat as well as late breaking news. I also wrote several stories on the re-opening of the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four little girls, a defining moment in the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 60s.
I have written youth curriculum for the Reel to Real series, published by The United Methodist Publishing House (1999-2002); devotionals for These Days published by Westminster John Knox Press; and d365.org produced by Passport; PLGRM Magazine (2013, interviewed Rachel Held Evans) and wrote a post for the “40 Days of Food Justice” project on patheos.com. I‘ve also keynoted High School youth retreats and have served on planning teams for Massanetta Springs Middle School Youth Conference and The Montreat Middle School Youth Conference. In the summer of 2015, I was the keynoter for Weeks V and VI of the Montreat Youth Conference.