Working in the newspaper industry allowed him the opportunity to cover issues affecting local residents and often weigh in on those issues through editorials and columns.
Slate, who served as the managing editor of the State Gazette shortly after it was purchased by Rust Communications in 2001, worked for the Dyersburg News/State Gazette from 1998 until 2002.
"I started working at the Dyersburg News when it was in competition with the State Gazette," said Slate from his home near the Finger Lakes of central New York state.
When Rust Communications purchased the State Gazette, Slate was appointed managing editor.
"I was there about five years," said Slate. "Dyersburg is a small community, a good community. The schools are good. I became a Volunteers fan when we moved there and I still wear my orange. Working at the State Gazette was fun. I worked about 80 to 85 hours a week."
Slate and his family relocated to Dyersburg from the St. Louis area when his wife, Maryemily Slate, received a promotion. The couple has three children -- Nathan, Chris and Rebecca. When Maryemily was promoted again, the Slate family left Dyersburg and moved to Alabama.
"We moved from Dyersburg to Decatur, Ala.," said Slate. "We were in the middle of all that Crimson Tide stuff and it was fun wearing my orange then. We lived there for 10 years."
Two years ago when Slate's wife was named general manager of a steel mill in central New York state, the newspaperman hung up his company pen and decided to follow his own dream.
"Now, I get to write what I want to write," said Slate. "Just being able to do that every day is pretty awesome. The hardest part is having the discipline to do it because I don't have deadlines. I have to make my own deadlines."
Described in his author's biography as a "Jesus-follower and an award-winning journalist", Slate admits the name of the book was chosen to pique the interest of readers.
"The title of the book is misleading," said Slate. "That's intentional, to try to grab people's attention. From writing editorials and columns and opinion pieces, it just seemed like as we move on in the political world, people just assume that if you are a Christian, that means you are a conservative and a Republican. I have always leaned a little left of center in my political (opinions) but I have been a Christian for a long time. People didn't seem to be able to reconcile how I can be both and I wanted to explain that."
Slate said political issues have been turned into black-and-white, right-or-wrong debates. His observation is that politicians, campaigns, and even self-proclaimed Christian organizations try to persuade the electorate that God is on their side.
"(The media has) got 800 words or two minutes on the TV newscast to try to explain an issue," said Slate. "It gets very superficial. The more you dig, the more you find out life is not superficial. It's pretty complex and these issues are too. The more you dig the more you realize everything is not black and white."
The book is not an attempt to grow any political party or philosophy. It is intended to grow the church by encouraging believers to always act from a position of empathy.
Slate credits a portion of this philosophy from his time in Dyersburg.
"When we were in Dyersburg we attended First Christian Church," said Slate. "It was really small and downtown when we started going and, all of a sudden, it just started growing. We built the new building out at the fairgrounds and went from 50 to 300 people in just the course of a year, a year and a half."
Slate said that growth came from a non-denominational congregation with the mission "Everybody is welcome, no matter where they are at."
"A lot of my really good friends that are really great people have an image of the church and of Christians as being judgmental, hateful even, and they won't go to church," said Slate. "I think that is a shortcoming of the church and not of unchurched people and that is what the book is about. It's about growing the church. To grow the church, we have to welcome everybody and let them know they are loved. We have to get people involved in a relationship with Christ."
"Do unto Others: Jesus was a Liberal" is available in soft cover and e-book format. It may be purchased online through WestBow Press and also at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and Google Books.