Holston Methodism

Scope: 

This pathfinder offers a glimpse into the assorted resources available on the history and various impacts of the United Methodist Church on Southwestern Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, most specifically through the Holston Conference.  The focus of this research highlights the development of the Holston Conference and the uniqueness of its congregations in relation to the larger United Methodist constituency.  Once a part of the Methodist Episcopal Circuit, Holston was established in 1783, spreading its ministry through frontier circuit riders. In the following centuries, Holston Methodism transitioned along with Southern Appalachia, each influencing the other as war, railroads, industry, and migration transformed the Holston Valley communities.  The compelling story of Holston Methodist ministry spans generations of families and communities, influencing the political, moral and religious climate of one of the most culturally rich regions in the United States.  The Holston Conference has currently extended itself to senior citizen residential care, Appalachian outreach, regional camping, and sponsorship with three colleges in the Holston area.  

The following resources provide an overview of the topic, and while archives of Holston Methodist documents may be found at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, and Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA, the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University offers a variety of secondary resources. 

Introductory Text: 

Martin, Isaac P. Methodism in Holston. Knoxville, TN: Methodist Historical Society of Holston Conference, 1945. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8382.M3.  See pages 5-6.

Eggers IV, Stacy C. Holston Methodism: Development and Growth Through Division and Difficulty: A Senior Honors Thesis.  ASU-B.A. 1998. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8248.T2 E34 1998.  See pages 1-2.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Holston
  • Methodist Church (U.S.) Conferences—Holston
  • Methodist Conferences
  • Methodist Episcopal Church—Clergy

Also Relevant:

  • Emory and Henry College
  • Holston River Valley (Va. and Tenn.)
  • Lake Junaluska Assembly
  • Maryville, TN and Methodists
  • Methodism—Holston River Valley
  • Tennessee Wesleyan College

 More General:

  • Circuit Riders
  • Methodism
  • Methodist Church—Appalachian Region, Southern—History
  • Methodist Church—Tennessee
  • Methodist Church—Virginia
  • Methodist Clergy—Biographies
  • Methodist Preaching
  • Methodist Universities and Colleges
  • Methodist Women
  • Methodists—United States

Relevant:

  • Civil War—Religion
  • Holston River—Maps
  • Methodism—Western North Carolina

Related:

  • Asbury, Francis
  • U.S. religion—bibliography
  • U.S. religion—dictionary
  • U.S. religion—encyclopedia
  • Wesley, John
Clipping Files Subject Headings - W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Religion

Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • BX8248.T2 E34
  • BX8382.M3
  • BX8236.B34
  • BX8382. H6H5
  • BX8381.H65 L96
  • BX8495.M32 ZA3
  • BX8236.M3
  • BX8241.P5
  • BX8391.T22 H67
  • BX8345.7 L67
  • BX8235.H5
  • BR535.E52
  • BR516.5.M38
  • BR516.5.R67
  • BL31.H37
  • BR535.L57
  • BX8382.A13 H65
Books: 

Eggers IV, Stacy C. Holston Methodism: Development and Growth Through Division and Difficulty: A Senior Honors Thesis.  ASU-B.A. 1998. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8248.T2 E34 1998.

Martin, Isaac P. Methodism in Holston. Knoxville, TN: Methodist Historical Society of Holston Conference, 1945. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8382.M3.

Baker, Frank. From Wesley to Asbury: Studies in early American Methodism. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press, 1976. ASU APP COLL: BX8236.B34.

Hilten, Robert L. Pillar of Fire: The Drama of Holston United Methodism in a Changing World. Johnson City, TN: Commission on Archives and History, Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, 1994. ASU APP COLL: BX8382. H6H5.

Huddle, Mark A. Incendiaries in Our Midst: Wesleyan Methodist Abolitionism in North Carolina, 1847-1860: A Thesis. WCU-B.A. 1995. LD 5961.W463H83 1995.

Lundy, Clyde. Holston Horizons. Bristol, TN-VA: Holston Conference Interboard Council, the Methodist Church, 1947. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8381.H65 L96.

Martin, Isaac P. A Minister in the Tennessee Valley: 67 Years. Knoxville, TN: Methodist Historical Society of Holston Conference, 1954. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8495.M32 ZA3.

Maser, Frederick E. The Dramatic Story of early American Methodism. New York: Abingdon Press, 1965. ASU APP COLL: BX8236.M3.

Pierce, L.W. Seedbeds of Methodism in Holston Conference. S.l.:s.n., 1960. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8241.P5 1960.

Preston, Thomas. Historical Sketches of the Holston Valleys. Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, 1926. ASU MAIN STACKS: F443.H7 P8.

Price, R.N. Holston Methodism: From Its Origin to the Present Time. Nashville, TN: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1903-1914. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8391.T22 H67 v. 1-5.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Alderson, W. T., & White, R. H. A Guide to the Study and Reading of Tennessee History. Nashville, TN: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1978. ASU SPEC APP COLL: Z1337.A7.

Guide to the Recommendation Orders, RG Ministerial Records.  Kelly Library. Emory and Henry College Special Collections and Archives. Access Online. http://library.ehc.edu/recorders.html

Bucke, Emory S. A History of American Methodism. New York: Abingdon Press, 1964. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8235.H5 v 1-3.

Hill, Samuel S., ed. Encyclopedia of Religion in the South. Macon, GA: Mercer Press, 1984. ASU REFERENCE: BR535.E52 1984.  See esp. pages 38-42, 467-471, 740-755, and 800-817.

Mead, Frank S. and Samuel S. Hill. Handbook of Denominations in the United States. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1985. ASU REFERENCE: BR516.5.M38. See pages 159-172.

Minutes of the Methodist Conferences, Annually Held in America. vol. 1, 1773-1813.  NY: Daniel Hitt and Thomas Ware, for the Methodist Connection in the United States. 1813. ASU Microform: Shaw-Shoemaker no. 29155.

Roller, David C. and Robert W. Twyman, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979.  ASU REFERENCE: 207.7.E52.  See pages 814-815.

Rosten, Leo C. Religions of America: Ferment and Faith in an Age of Crisis: A New Guide and Almanac. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1975. ASU REFERENCE: BR516.5.R67. See pages 170-185.

Smith, Jonathan Z., ed. The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco. ASU REFERENCE: BL31.H37 1995.  See pages 716-717.

Moran, Hugh. Western North Carolina Methodism. Pathfinder and Bibliography.  Access online www.appstate.edu/library.

Bibliographies: 

Dickinson, W. Calvin., & Hitchcock, Eloise. R.  A Bibliography of Tennessee History, 1973-1996. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1999. ASU SPEC APP COLL: Z1337.B53 1999. See page 352.

Holston Methodist Conference Collection 1820-1843. East Tennessee State University. Archives of Appalachia. Access Online. http://cass.etsu.edu/ARCHIVES/afindaid/a49.html  

Jackie Hickham Pectol Collection. Belk Library. Emory and Henry Special Collections and Archives.  Access Online http://library.ehc.edu/Pectol.html.  

Lippy, Charles H. Bibliography of Religion in the South. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1985. ASU MAIN STACKS: BR535.L57.

Ross, Charlotte T, ed. Bibliography of Southern Appalachia. Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium, 1976.  ASU APP COLL OVSZ: Z1251.A7 B5x.

Slaats, Gary, ed. Religious News Press in Appalachia. Knoxville, TN: Commission on Religion in Appalachia, 1971. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z6944.R4 S5.

Abstracts and Indices: 

ALTA Religion Database.  Belk Library Reference Database. For my purposes, ALTA covers religious and theological literature in the form of reviews, periodicals, journals, and essays.

Search for:

Relevant:

Methodist “and” Holston Conference

Appalachia “and” Methodist

Holston River Valley “and” Methodist

JSTOR Database.  Belk Library Reference Database.  For my purposes, JSTOR offers, academic journal articles in anthropology and social studies, among others.

Search for:

Relevant:

Methodist and South

Holston River Valley

Religion and Appalachia

Ingenta ConnectComplete Database.  Belk Library Reference Database.  For my purposes, Ingenta covers articles, essays, and other publications across all academic disciplines.

Search for:

Relevant:

Methodist and South

Religion and South

Journals: 

Holston Annual. Knoxville, TN: Holston Methodist Job Office, Holston Conference. APP COLL CLO: Bound 1903-1907, 1922-1925, 1930-1939. BX8382.A13 H65.

Journal of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. Nashville, TN: Methodist Publishing House. ASU APP COLL CLO: Bound 1941-1944, 1946-1949, 1951-1959, 2002. BX8382.A13 H65. Also access online www.holstonconference.com.

Websites: 

 Emory and Henry Special Collections and Archives. Belk Library. Holston Conference: History and Finding Aids. http://library.ehc.edu/archives.html.

Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church Website. http://www.holstonconference.com

Holston Methodist Conference Collection 1820-1843. East Tennessee State University. Archives of Appalachia. http://www.etsu.edu/cass/Archives/Collections/afindaid/a49.html.

Audio and Video Sources: 

 Mauger, Patricia. A Lost History. 60 min. film. New York: National Broadcasting Company, 1984. UNCA Library, General Stacks. BX8345.7 L67.

McFerrin, John B. History of Methodism in Tennessee. Nashville, TN: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopalian Church, South, 1886. ASU COLL MICROFORM: LAC 22584-85.

Robinson, H., Ward, J., & Kesling, B. A special message to United Methodists of the Holston Conference, 8 min. videocassette, Alcoa, Tenn.: The Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, 2001. ASU APP COLL VIDEO:  VC691.

Compiled by: 

 Whitney Kimball Coe

November 14, 2006

Updated by: 

 Michelle Freeze

October 31, 2012

Subject: