2013 August : Sunday Salon

The Joseph of Arimathea Center for Secret Believers

Applying Digital Marketing Tactics, “Secret” Church Goes Viral 

By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

The Joseph of Arimathea Center for Secret Believers, better known as the JofACSB, is the largest congregation in country, but, who exactly its 6.7 million members are, is, of course, a secret. The center—“It’s not a church,” insists Reverend Nicodemus (not his real name)—has no physical location. Its members meet remotely every Sunday at cockcrow (EST) using a unique dial-in and password sent them via text moments before. Visitors interested in attending a “session” (Nicodemus cringes at “church words” like “service” and “flock”) can request a unique password via a member.

Members are encouraged to partake in “Secret Acts …

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is a style & culture writer that has been featured on MSNBC, and published in EBONY Magazine, The Village Voice, on NBC’s thegrio.com, and MadameNoire.com, among other outlets. She has been photographed and/or featured in a range of magazines, newspapers and blogs including the New York Times style section, Glamour Magazine, Paper Magazine, and the highly popular fashion street style blog The Sartorialist. Her poetry has been published by Nike and in the Growing Up Girl and This Woman’s Work anthologies. The Webby Award-winning copywriter has also worked with clients such as Victoria’s Secret, L’Oreal Paris USA and Avaya. Her literary work has been featured in …

Brian Gersten

Brian Gersten is a freelance writer and aspiring documentary filmmaker from Chicago, IL. Brian emigrated to the mountains, after growing up in the perfectly leveled mid-west, and received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He wrote “And Am I Born To Die?” while attending the writing program at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. When Brian is not working he is either playing basketball, watching basketball, dreaming of basketball, or eating basketball-shaped foods. He is the victim of a Basketball Jones.

Michael Copperman

Michael Copperman’s work has been featured in The Sun, The Oxford-American, Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Guernica, Copper Nickel, Unsaid, Post Road and Southword, among others. He is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Munster Literature Center, the Oregon Arts Council, Literary Arts, and Breadloaf Writers Conference. From 2002-04 he taught fourth grade in the rural black public schools of the Mississippi Delta with Teach For America, and currently seeks representation for his memoir “Gone,” concerning that experience.

Dean Kostos

Dean Kostos’s collections include Rivering, Last Supper of the Senses, The Sentence That Ends with a Comma, and the chapbook Celestial Rust. He co-edited Mama’s Boy: Gay Men Write about Their Mothers (a Lambda Book Award finalist) and edited Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry (its debut reading was held at the United Nations). His poems have appeared in over 300 journals and anthologies, such as Boulevard, Chelsea, Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, Mediterranean Poetry (Sweden), Southwest Review, Stand Magazine (UK), Stranger at Home, Token Entry, Vanitas, Western Humanities Review, and on Oprah Winfrey’s Web site …

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones is author of three poetry collections, most recently Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press), three chapbooks and two plays commissioned by Mabou Mines. Poems are anthologized in several anthologies including Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary of African-American Poetry and Best American Poetry: 2000. She is contributing editor to BOMB Magazine. Recipient of awards from NEA, NYFA, The New York Community Trust, The Foundation of Contemporary Art and Goethe Institute. Lecturer at CUNY and Mentor for Emerge Surface Be at The Poetry Project, where she was a former Program Coordinator.

Rae Bryant

Rae Bryant’s short story collection, The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals (Patasola Press) was nominated for the Pen/Hemingway and Pushcart as well as shortlisted for the Pen Emerging Awards. Her work appears in The Paris Review Online, Huffington Post, McSweeney’s, Gargoyle Magazine, and Redivider, among other publications. She earned a Masters in Writing from Hopkins, where she received an award for her fiction and her work in the community of letters. She has taught creative writing and intermedia in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and at Johns Hopkins where she is founding editor of The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. She is a voting member of the …

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