Dan Barker

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Dan Barker
Dan Barker.jpg
Born Daniel Edwin Barker[1]
(1949-06-25) June 25, 1949 (age 68)
Santa Monica, California
Residence Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Azusa Pacific University
Occupation Co-president, Freedom From Religion Foundation, author, musician
Known for Advocacy of atheism and rationalism
Criticism of religion

Daniel Edwin Barker (born June 25, 1949) is an American atheist activist who served as a Christian preacher and musician for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984. He and his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor are the current co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.[2] He has written numerous articles for Freethought Today, an American freethought newspaper. He is the author of several books including Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist.[citation needed]

Barker has been an invited speaker at Rock Beyond Belief.[3] He is on the speakers bureau of the Secular Student Alliance.[4]


Barker received a degree in religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church, California, in 1970.[1] He served as associate pastor at a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) church, an Assembly of God, and an independent Charismatic church. To this day, he receives royalties from his popular children's Christian musicals, Mary Had a Little Lamb (1977) and His Fleece Was White as Snow (1978), both published by Manna Music.[5]

In 1984 he announced to his friends that he was an atheist,[6] and appeared on AM Chicago (hosted by Oprah Winfrey) later that year on a show about "kicking the religion habit".[7]

Personal life[edit]

Barker and Gaylor met when both were guests on the show. They began dating six months later and married in 1987. They have a daughter, Sabrina Delata.[8]

He is a member of the Lenni Lenape (Delaware Indian) Tribe of Native Americans, and in 1991 edited and published Paradise Remembered,[9] a collection of his grandfather's stories as a Lenape boy in Indian Territory.

Barker belongs to a number of high IQ societies.[10]

Freedom From Religion Foundation[edit]

Barker introduces himself and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

He is the current co-president with his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an American Freethought organization that promotes the separation of church and state.[citation needed] Barker is co-host of Freethought Radio, a radio program based in Madison, Wisconsin radio station WXXM for atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers that has included interviews with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Steven Pinker, Julia Sweeney, and Michael Newdow.[citation needed]

Media appearances[edit]

Man in his fifties standing and speaking wearing a tan suitcoat holding up a red book, man in his forties seated, large audience visible at right
Barker with a red Bible, debating Dinesh D'Souza at UCSD in 2011.

Barker has appeared on dozens of national television and radio programs to discuss and debate issues related to atheism and the separation of state and church. He has discussed nativity scenes on government property,[11] the campaign against a Mother Teresa stamp,[12] prayer in public schools,[13] and has appeared on Phil Donahue, Hannity & Colmes, Maury Povich, Good Morning America, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Tom Leykis.[citation needed]

He was featured in a New York Times article about the growing of atheism in Southern states,[14] has given addresses on his own de-conversion across the United States,[15][16][17][18][19][20] and has participated in debates around the country.[21]

Barker and his wife host a weekly one-hour radio program, Freethought Radio. It is broadcast weekly, on Progressive Talk The Mic 92.1, out of Madison, Wisconsin. It is carried on several other stations throughout the Midwest and is available through podcast.[22]



  • Mary Had a Little Lamb (Manna Music 1977)
  • His Fleece Was White as Snow (Manna Music 1978)


Music albums

  • Night at Nakoma
  • Friendly Neighborhood Atheist (2002)
  • Beware of Dogma (2004)
  • Adrift On A Star (2013)


  1. ^ a b Lueders, Bill (July 28, 1991). "Fervor in reverse". The Milwaukee Journal. pp. 7–13. 
  2. ^ Grauvogl, Ann (December 18, 2009). "Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor are happily God-free". Isthmus The Daily Page. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ Griffith, Justin (January 16, 2011). "Dan Barker Joins the Lineup". Rock Beyond Belief website. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Dan Barker". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Manna Music All Songs List". Manna Music. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ Von Busack, Richard (October 3, 2002). "Heretical Animals". Metro Silicon Valley. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey Show". AM Chicago. 1984. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ Erickson, Doug (February 25, 2007). "The Atheists' Calling". Madison.com. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  9. ^ Barker, Dan (1991). "Paradise Remembered a Lenape Indian Childhood and Other Stories". Dan Barker. ASIN B00GW4Z9LS. 
  10. ^ "Dan Barker - Freedom From Religion Foundation". ffrf.org. Retrieved August 20, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Fox & Friends". Fox News. December 4, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ The Daily Show (March 14, 2010). "Mail Mary". Comedy Central. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Does Prayer Have A Place In Public Schools". Fox News. August 14, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  14. ^ Sella, Marshall (December 7, 1997). "Faith Is a Fraud; Godless And Proud of It". New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2007. 
  15. ^ Lazarus, Bill (January 24, 1991). "Minister-turned-atheist Speaks This Weekend". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ Lyman, Wendy (April 28, 2004). "Dan Barker Speaks Tonight at Schofield". The Flip Side. University of Wisconsin. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Atheism speaker attracts large crowd". The Spectator. University of Wisconsin. April 24, 2004. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  18. ^ Baker, Jim (November 13, 2004). "Former preacher 'de-converts' to atheism". Lawrence Journal World. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  19. ^ Tonge, Shawn (March 11, 2013). "Evangelical preacher shares story of conversion to atheism". Michigan Central Life. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Minister-Turned-Atheist Discusses Journey to Deconversion in Lawrence University Address". Lawrence University. May 11, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  21. ^ "The Interminable Debate". The Harvard Crimson. April 30, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Freethought Radio & Podcast". Retrieved June 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]