I was raised Catholic, but my father's people were Methodist, so we went to both churches.
Our society is divided by the culture wars into the Left and Right, and the United Methodist Church has always stood historically in the center and has been willing to listen to and to bring together those things that often are found in opposite camps.
I grew up Methodist and went to church until my parents gave up on religion when I was nine.
My grandfather was a Methodist preacher, and my father was an unsuccessful businessman. We didn't have status or wealth.
The shooter's choice of Emanuel AME was most likely deliberate, given the church's storied history. It was the first African Methodist Episcopal church in the South, founded in 1818 by a group of men including Morris Brown, a prominent pastor, and Denmark Vesey, who would go on to lead a large, yet failed, slave revolt in Charleston.
Then I went off to Southern Methodist University in Dallas. They had a really wonderful theatre department.
I spent summers with my mother's parents in Arkansas, where religion felt very present. My grandmother was Baptist, and my grandfather was Methodist. Double Southern whammy.
I was baptized Methodist, but I was mainly raised First Church of NFL, which is to say that my family, especially my father, was much more concerned with watching football on Sundays than attending services.
I was reared in the conservative atmosphere of a Methodist parsonage.
I was brought up Methodist, christened as a little baby and went to church every Sunday.