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Journalist Mark Pinsky Reflects On 26 Years Writing About Religion, Politics And Florida

Mark Pinsky. Photo courtesy of Mark Pinsky
Mark Pinsky. Photo courtesy of Mark Pinsky

Mark Pinsky has been writing about Florida for more than 25 years. Pinsky, who covered religion for the Orlando Sentinel for a large part of that stint, was also a crime reporter and has written several non-fiction works including an examination of the cold case murder of Nancy Morgan.

Intersection host Matthew Peddie caught up with him for a conversation about religion, politics and the next chapter of his writing career, as he prepares to move to North Carolina. 

"I think what I liked about it was that on the one hand, I was approaching these institutions as well as the mega churches in the area, particularly First Baptist of Orlando, and Northland, I was reporting on them on two levels," says Pinsky of his reporting the evangelical church.

"On one level, I was interviewing the leaders, on the phone or in person, with the mediation of reporters notebook. But the same time I was meeting grassroots evangelicals, suburban evangelicals, in my neighborhood, PTA, public schools, scouts, rec athletics with my kids, as our kids grew up, and I didn't have a reporter's notebook, I just met people and got to know them, not in a transactional way."

Pinsky says the evangelical church has grown in influence over the last 25 years.

"Central Florida is a good example of predictive suburban sunbelt evangelicalism. And in the time that I was here, their influence both within the state and within the nation gradually grew until it became a really potent segment of the of the political equation."