Julie Lyons, also known as "Bible Girl," announced yesterday that she's leaving the paper in January to write a book loosely based on her 1992 story "My Life as a Holy Roller" -- her first assignment at the Observer. "When I leave, I'm sure I'll write a long, meandering post about some of the strange and wonderful experiences I've had here over the years, but for now, that's all," Lyons writes. "I will continue writing for the Observer in some capacity. Bible Girl isn't ready to hang up her cape just yet."

Continue ReadingDallas Observer Editor is Stepping Down to Write Book

In February, Observer editor Julie Lyons reported on her "Bible Girl" blog that Pentacostal Minister Sherman Allen had a decades-long history of alleged sexual abuse. Her investigation also revealed that several women have alleged that the minister, who is being sued by a former employee and church member, is also involved in the occult. Now, the Church of God in Christ has suspended Allen "from all national and local pastoral roles and activities" until his trial is settled, according to the Observer. The Church of God in Christ is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States, as well as the fourth-largest Christian church organization in the country, with some 6 million members.

Continue ReadingMinister is Suspended Following Dallas Observer Reports of Sexual Abuse

In a blistering investigation, Editor Julie Lyons, aka "Bible Girl," dives into Fort Worth Pastor Sherman Allen's decades-long history of alleged sexual abuse. She reports that since late January, when local TV station KXAS broke the story of a lawsuit against Allen by former church member and employee Davina Kelly, seven other women have come forward with tales of paddling and degradation at the hands of the Pentecostal pastor. The victims have also told her that Allen "is involved in the occult, employing such tactics as hypnosis, magic or illusions and the use of healing potions." GetReligion, a blog covering religion in journalism, says: "Lyons is an articulate, opinionated evangelical Christian who is doing some of the most freewheeling, confessional first-person religion writing I have ever seen."

Continue ReadingDallas Observer Reports Pentecostal Minister Abused Women

Dallas Observer Editor Julie Lyons revealed last week in her new "Bible Girl" blog that she is against gay marriage: "In my profession and in my sphere -- the alternative press -- gay marriage is pretty much a non-issue. Anyone who opposes it -- in other words, someone who holds an alternative view -- is considered a bigot, a hater and a homophobe," Lyons wrote. This week, she divulges in another column-length post that in earlier years she had an "almost overwhelming attraction for other girls" that "had nothing to do with sex," but she has now been happily married to a man for 16 years. "Love her or hate her for it, it's fearless stuff," blogs Dallas Morning News section editor Rod Dreher. "And considering how conformist media circles are, even as they congratulate themselves on their freethinking ways, admirably courageous."

Continue ReadingDallas Observer Editor Speaks Out on Evangelical Beliefs

Newspapers in the Phoenix-based alt-weekly chain picked up seven of the 11 awards handed out last month in the under 150,000 circulation category of the National Association of Black Journalists' annual contest. Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze and Julie Lyons, Cleveland Scene's Thomas Francis and Riverfront Times' Jeannette Batz all were named first-place winners.

Continue ReadingNew Times Dominates NABJ Awards