December 3, 2016

Atheist Groups in Mississippi

USA Mississippi location mapAs the most religious state in the U.S., Mississippi can be an isolating experience for atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other secular individuals. But it doesn't have to be. We may be far behind many other states in several important ways, but we do have some local atheist, humanist, freethought, and secular groups here in Mississippi.

I periodically hear from secular people who recently moved to Mississippi or are in the process of moving and who are looking for active groups in their area of the state. Since I had trouble finding a list of active atheist, humanist, freethinking, or otherwise secular groups in Mississippi, I figured I might as well try to pull one together. This is a work-in-progress that I will plan to update periodically.

I have listed all the active atheist groups I'm aware of in Mississippi by city and/or county (you can see a map showing the location of the counties here). If I missed any, please let me know so I can add them. Also, if you are a participant in of any of these groups and have some information you would like others to know about your group, please let me know (i.e., I'd be happy to add a description of your group or other useful information here).

My hope is that this can eventually evolve into a secular resource directory of some sort for Mississippi. It would be awfully nice to be able to pass along some information about what is available in our state (or in neighboring states for those who live near enough) to those who are interested in connecting with other secular persons.

Ripley (Tippah County)

Up in Tippah County, you'll find the Northeast Mississippi Secular Humanist Association in Ripley.

Starkville (Oktibbeha County)

In Starkville, you'll find the Freethinkers, Agnostics, and Atheists of Mississippi State University bringing a dose of reality to their community.

Jackson (Madison, Hinds, and Rankin Counties)

As the largest city in Mississippi, it makes sense that Jackson would not be a bad place to find atheists. If you are an atheist living in Mississippi, Jackson is probably where you want to be. The Central Mississippi Atheist Meetup Group is the largest in the state.

Mississippi's statewide humanist association, the Mississippi Humanist Association, is also based in Jackson, as is the Secular Coalition of Mississippi.

Millsaps College, also in Jackson, has the Millsaps Secular Society. Their Facebook group is a closed group, but they have indicated previously that they are not only for Millsaps students.

Laurel (Jones County)

In Jones County, you'll find the Atheist Community of Laurel. It is not clear if this group is still active.

Hattiesburg (Forrest County)

The Secular Student Alliance at Southern Miss got off to a great start and even managed to bring Dan Barker to Hattiesburg a few years ago; however, the group is no longer active aside from their Facebook page. It may be re-launched at some point if enough Southern Miss students are interested.

The newest group in town is the Pine Belt Freethinkers. It currently exists as a closed group on Facebook, but they have plans to work with the Mississippi Humanist Association and American Atheists.

Poplarville (Pearl River County)

The Freethinker's Union at Pearl River Community College may be one of the smaller groups, but they bring some much needed reason to Pearl River County.

Biloxi and Gulfport (Harrison County)

When it comes to active secular groups, this is the best place to be outside of the Jackson area. Those of you in the Gulfport-Biloxi area have access to one of the more active groups in the state in the form of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Atheist and Freethinking Association.

You should also check out Atheists of South Mississippi, and if humanism fits you better than atheism, check out the MS Gulf Coast Humanists.