5

The Turning Points That Make It Work

Tom and Danielle

The suburbs north of Atlanta have gone through a profound change in recent years. An influx of new residents from around the country and around the world during the economic boom of the 1990s swelled the population of the county by more than 25%. What had been a reliably white conservative Southern Baptist area transformed into a religious and cultural mosaic unimaginable a generation before.

Danielle was born there and grew up in the area in the 1970s and 1980s, the last decades of that earlier Atlanta. Her family was “definitely Southern Baptist,” she says now, but “didn’t go to church that much” when she was young—mostly Easter and Christmas.

When she was in middle school, Danielle’s ...

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