A big old center city church in Charlotte wanted to open up the conversations we have about faith. It wanted the conversations to reflect the wider world of faith and religion, to reveal all the ways that faith shows up in our lives and in our world. It wanted to invite us to the intersection of the sacred and the secular so we can explore what happens for us at that intersection.

Welcome to Faith Unfiltered: Seeking God in the 21st Century.



Our Hunger for Moral Meaning

Dr. Jonathan Haidt, First Presbyterian Church’s 2019 Willard speaker, had a conversation with the Reverend Pen Peery and Faith Unfiltered host Garrell Keesler on the subject Our Hunger for Moral Meaning. Listen now and get inspired to purchase your ticket on the First Presbyterian Church website for the 2020 Willard Lecture with Father Greg Boyle.  ...
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Religion & Politics: Tim Funk on Christianity Today and the Nation’s Divide

Former Charlotte Observer Faith & Values reporter Tim Funk looks at some of the big stories that have impacted Charlotte over the years—including the recent editorial from Christianity Today that reveals how the nation’s divide also impacts churches and denominations ...
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Seeking Wisdom: Growing Your Faith in 2020

As a year ends and a new one begins, people talk about New Year’s resolutions or setting goals for the year ahead. This week, Faith Unfiltered talks with people about how they would like their spiritual lives to look different this time next year. Listen now ...
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Advent: Love

The last of the four concepts we look at and live with during Advent is Love. In this final podcast of Advent, Faith Unfiltered talks with the Reverend Chuck Williamson about what we really celebrate at Christmas—how God’s love became flesh and lived among us ...
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Advent: Joy

What is joy? Join us as we learn about Advent's third theme via a story from our local community here in Charlotte. Take some time to reflect on what might bring you happiness -- and what might bring you joy.  ...
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Advent: Peace

When we imagine peace, we might use a visual: calm waters, or a snowy pasture. And during Advent, we talk a lot about finding peace. But the peace that surpasses understanding isn’t a vista, and peace isn’t the same thing as “calm,” and peace often comes after sprinklings of love, and joy, hard work and second chances. In this week’s Faith Unfiltered, The Advent Editions, we talk with three people about the peace that they find in their lives ...
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Advent: Hope

The word Hope becomes supercharged during December anticipating everything from Jesus’ birth, Black Friday deals, children’s gift wishes, to a desire for lighter traffic, less holiday music, shorter lines and longer patience. But for many, hope is elusive, and merry and bright wishes fail to lighten spirits. In this special Advent podcast, stories from a Vietnam veteran and of recently-evicted families in Charlotte offer a way of getting hope by giving hope ...
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The Birth: This Night Changes Everything

Holiday entertainment can be long on emotion and short on theology. One exception is The Birth, a play based on the writings of theologian and author Frederick Buechner. In this week's episode, we talk with Nathan Rouse, who launched the production 14 years ago in Charlotte. Nathan talks about how The Birth gives expression to his faith with its fresh perspective on the birth of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the innkeeper, a Wise Man and a shepherd ...
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Hope for Healing

Vietnam Veteran, Richard Lee and Nurse Sherry Olson return to discuss the healing that has come from conversation with other veterans who know and understand his story. He and Sherry give a word of hope for those who are struggling ...
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The Moral Injury of War

In 1968, Richard Lee Anthony was drafted into the Army. His career took him to Vietnam, where he spent a year as an Infantry Combat Medic. Like many servicemen and women, healing the moral and emotional injury of war has taken years. Through monthly luncheons organized by First Presbyterian Church parish nurse Sherry Olson, Richard has begun to open up and find peace and hope in the community of other veterans. In recognition of Veteran’s Day, host Garrell Keesler speaks with Richard and Sherry in this week’s episode of Faith Unfiltered ...
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Dr. Rodney Sadler: Manifesting the Kingdom

In the second part of our interview with the Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler, he talks about three core principles found in scripture that hold the key to our ability to come together across what divides us and transform our society ...
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Dr. Rodney Sadler: Liberator God vs. Oppressor God

How and why did African Americans find liberation in the Christian bible, a text that was once twisted and misused to condemn them to bondage? And how has this misinterpretation of biblical text been perpetuated to this day as a mode of social control? In this week’s episode of Faith Unfiltered: Seeking God in the 21st Century, the Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler, a professor at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte who earned his Ph.D. from Duke University, explores this history and the ways we are all called as the church to manifest God’s vision for the world ...
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Food and Faith: Tradition, Lessons, Community

In every faith tradition, food plays a part that is larger than mere sustenance. Preparing a meal is an act of love, and serving it can be a time of remembrance. In this week’s Faith Unfiltered, host Dartinia Hull talks to Charlotteans who consider the link between food and faith, and who see that the way to humanity’s heart is definitely through the stomach—Nick Kepp, former chef at First Presbyterian Church and currently executive chef at Charlotte’s Community Matters Café; WFAE’s Amy Rogers; food writer Kathleen Purvis; and Keke Turner, one of the current chefs at First Presbyterian Church.  ...
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Taiwo Jaiyeoba: Transforming Places and People

Taiwo Jaiyeoba has a passion for transforming people and places, a passion that grew out of his childhood in Nigeria, where he came to understand how transportation and community changed people's lives. With more than 20 years of leading planning and transportation initiatives nationally and internationally, Jaiyeoba is now the Assistant City Manager for Charlotte, with responsibility for leading the city’s Planning, Design and Development department. In this episode of Faith Unfiltered, Jaiyeoba will talk about a vision for the future of Charlotte that will impact connectivity, equity and the livability of Charlotte through the year 2040. Listen as he talks about how his vision and his passion are informed by his faith and his role as father to seven daughters. You can learn more about his vision for Charlotte when he speaks on Sunday, November 3, at First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. His music playlist is also available ...
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Religion & Politics: Tim Funk on this Troubled Relationship

This week’s episode of Faith Unfiltered: Seeking God in the 21st Century, is an interview with Tim Funk, former award-winning Faith and Values reporter for The Charlotte Observer. Tim, who has also covered state and national politics, talks about the history of the relationship between religion and politics in the U.S.; North Carolina’s First Family of faith, the Grahams; and a 50-year-old Motown classic that Tim believes speaks just as clearly to today’s political climate as it did when it was first released ...
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Sheriff Garry McFadden: Preparing Your Neighbor

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden has been somewhat of a polarizing figure regionally since taking office. Whether it’s been a shift to humanizing language or refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), McFadden hasn’t failed to make headlines. We sat down with him after his appearance at the West Charlotte High School Decision Day to talk about his community involvement, his faith and some of the reforms he’s put into place since taking office ...
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Sam Bethea: From Life on the Streets to Evangelism on the Streets

How do you feel about street evangelists? Have you ever wondered why they do what they do? Sam Bethea and his message of love are well-known by those who live and work in Center City Charlotte. In this episode, he talks with humor and vulnerability about how he grew beyond what he calls his jailhouse Christianity to fill the call to share the love of Jesus ...
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Gail Henderson-Belsito: A Resurrected Voice

In this episode of Voices from Church and Trade, we talk with a woman who was told she had no place in the pulpit of a church. In a week, she will preach at Charlotte’s citywide Easter Sunrise Service. Let Gail tell you how God called her to share her voice ...
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Millennials & the Church: The Times They Are a-Changin’

A southern millennial Presbyterian observes the change in culture, change in the world and the need for the church to evolve ...
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Millennials & the Church: Once Lost…

A southern millennial Presbyterian left for college and on the journey rediscovered his faith ...
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