Readers, hello and welcome to the final entry of 2018 here at the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be giving a presentation based on some of my blog material at next year’s Stone-Campbell Journal Conference in April. The purpose of the talk will be to determine who the most famous member of Churches of Christ was at any given time between 1919-2019 (think of it as figuring out who holds the “championship belt” at any particular moment in time, so to speak.) Unless another publication opportunity comes up for the text of that presentation, I’ll likely post it here after the conference is over.
However, I’m also going to be stepping away from this blog, at least for a time, after this post. I have several other projects–especially my dissertation–that are making increased demands on my time, and as much as I love writing these entries, those other projects need to take greater precedence over the next few months. As I said above, I will probably post the text of the conference presentation in April, and I may return to my regular posting schedule in a few months’ time, but at least for now, this will be the final entry here at “Church of Christ Celebrities.”
As promised last time out, today’s entry will focus on another prominent figure from the music world: Jeff Tweedy (1967-). Most notable for being the singer and guitarist for alt/indie rock band Wilco, Tweedy has also played in two other critically acclaimed bands, Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt. Wilco’s best-received album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, merited a Grammy in 2005, and Tweedy has collaborated with a number of other artists, both as a musician and as a producer, since that time.
While I have not seen Tweedy’s name included on any lists of supposed Churches of Christ celebrities, his name was floated as a potential topic by a friend and reader of the blog, so we’ll see what the sources say. Is there a connection of any sort?
The first relevant source I consulted seemed quite promising. A 2009 post on a different blog contains the assertion that
Tweedy was confirmed in the Church of Christ, and basically never went back. He had a strong concept of theology and of God, but doesn’t [sic], and doesn’t want to adhere to any particular faith. His wife and two kids are Jewish, and he occasionally worships with them. (1)
While the language about confirmation felt a bit out of place for discussion of Churches of Christ, it did seem to confirm (ha!) some sort of connection. However, the only other useful source I found in my research muddied the waters considerably. Jeff Tweedy’s older brother, Greg, passed away in 2013, and an obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times noted that “He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Belleville.” (2) Confirmation is actually practiced in the United Church of Christ, which makes me think that Jeff Tweedy’s church connection, however fleeting, may have been with the UCC rather than with Churches of Christ.
One last detail: Tweedy released a memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), in November of this year. As best as I can tell, the book contains only a handful of references to churches or congregations of any sort, and none to Churches of Christ or to the United Church of Christ. (3) That’s all I was able to find, though, so for now, we’ll have to leave it in a state of ambiguity.
Thanks again for your support over the last year and a half!
(1) “I don’t know nothing about Jeff Tweedy’s soul,” It Only Goes Up To Your Knees, November 6, 2009, accessed September 14, 2018, https://itonlygoesuptoyourknees.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/christian-of-the-week3-jeff-tweedy/.
(2) “Obituary: Greg Tweedy, 55,” Chicago Sun-Times, September 4, 2013, accessed September 14, 2018, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/chicago-sun-times/20130904/281543698594857.
(3) Jeff Tweedy, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. New York: Dutton, 2013.