Clerical and Missionary Writings on Appalachia


Religion plays a crucial role in the life of many people in the Appalachian Region. By impacting worldview, conveying notions of moral integrity and developing community relationships, religion is important to the understanding of the area and its people. From descriptions of early revivals of the 1700s, to missionary viewpoints of the mid-1800s, to present day sermons in both independent and mainline churches, church representatives have written prolifically on the area and its people. While there is much research on religion in Appalachia, there is no definitive Bibliography outlining texts written specifically by clerical and/or missionary workers. This pathfinder limits its scope to these authors, making available both primary and secondary sources relevant to missionary and clerical viewpoints on religion in Appalachia.

Introductory Text: 

Leonard, Bill J. “Introduction.” Christianity in Appalachia: Profiles in Regional Pluralism. Ed. Bill J. Leonard. Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee Press, 1999. 328 pages. See pp. xv-xxxiii. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BR535.C45 1999.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

“denomination”--“state”--church history (works for most mainline denominations)

“state”--church history

  • Appalachian Region, Southern--Church History
  • Appalachian Region, Southern--religion
  • Appalachian Region, Southern--Religious life and customs--Exhibitions
  • Appalachian Region, Southern--Religious life and customs--Pictorial works
  • Appalachian Region--religion
  • Appalachian Regions--Religion--Religious life and customs
  • Missionaries of “faith, sect, or sponsoring institution”
  • Missionaries--“State”
  • Missionaries--“State”--Biography
  • Missionaries--“State”--Correspondence
  • Missionaries--“State”--Diaries
  • Missionaries--“State”--History
  • Missionaries--“State”--History--17th century
  • Missionaries--“State”--History--18th century
  • Missionaries--“State”--History--19th century
  • Missionaries--“State”--History--20th century
  • Missionaries--Appalachian Region, Southern--Biography
  • Missionaries--Correspondence
  • Missionaries--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
  • Missionaries--Diaries
  • Missionaries--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Missionaries--Lay
  • Missions--Appalachian Region, Southern

Also Relevant:

  • Appalachian Region Religious Life and Customs
  • Appalachian Region--Church history
  • Appalachian Region--Church history--18th century
  • Appalachian Region--Church history--19th century
  • Appalachian Region--Church history--20th century
  • Baptists--Missions
  • Church work with the poor--Appalachian region
  • Circuit Riders
  • Circuit Riders--“State”
  • Circuit Riders--Biography
  • Circuit Riders--Diaries
  • Circuit Riding
  • Missionaries--“state”
  • Missionaries--Appalachian Region biography
  • Missionaries--Appalachian Region, southern
  • Missionaries--North Carolina--Watauga County
  • Missions--“state”
  • Missions--“state”--History
  • Missions--Mississippi River Valley
  • Presbyterian Church in the U.S.--missions

More General:

  • Appalachia
  • Appalachian Mountains Region
  • Appalachian Mountains, Southern
  • Appalachian Mountains, Southern-Population
  • Appalachian Region--Biography
  • Appalachians (People)
  • Christian Sects--Appalachian Region
  • Christianity--Appalachian Region
  • Church History
  • Clericalism
  • Clericalism--History
  • Home Missions
  • Missions and Missionaries
  • Missions and Missionaries--Biography
  • Missions and Missionaries--History
  • Missions and Missionaries--History--United States
  • Missions and Missionaries--Periodicals
  • Missions and Missionaries--Personal narratives
  • Missions--America
  • Missions--America--History
  • Missions--America--History--18th century
  • Missions--America--History--19th century
  • Missions--America--History--20th century
  • Missions-American [old catalog]
  • Missions--American--Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • Missions--American--History
  • Missions--American--History--18th century
  • Missions--American--History--19th century
  • Missions--American--History--20th century
  • Missions--American--History--Congresses
  • Missions--American--History--Sources
  • Missions--Southern States


  • Appalachian Mountains--History--Local
  • Appalachian Region Religion Periodicals
  • Camp Meetings
  • Evangelists Biography
  • Evangelists--Appalachian Region--Biography
  • Evangelists--Religious life
  • Missionaries--Appalachian Region Southern Biography
  • Missions--Anthropological aspects
  • Tent Revivals
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Religion
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • BR 535
  • 563.M68
  • BV2793
  • BX6495
  • BX8000-8999, especially BX8197-8999
  • F217.A65
  • F210
  • BV2766-3785
  • BL624-BL629.5
  • BR145-6
  • BR540

Brewer, Earl D.C. “Religion and the Churches.” The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey. Ed. Thomas R. Ford. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press, 1967. 308 pages. See pp. 201-218. ASU APP COLL STACKS: HC107.K4 S58 1967.

Campbell, John C. The Southern Highlander and His Homeland. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1969. 405 pages. See pp. 152-195. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F210.C2 1969.

“If I Were Beginning Again: A Reflective Symposium by Seven Rural Ministers.” Mountain Life and Work, 23, no. 1. (Spr 1947), 6-10, 30. ASU APP COLL STACKS: GR103.M5.

Schermerhorn, John F. and Samuel J. Mills. “A Correct View of that part of the United States which lies West of the Allegany Mountains, with Respect to Religion and Morals.” To Win the West: Missionary Viewpoints, 1814-1815. Ed. Edwin S. Gaustad. Religion in America: Series II. New York, NY: Arno Press, 1972. 163 pages. See pp.1-52. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BR540.T6.

Weller, Jack. Yesterday’s People: Life in Contemporary Appalachia. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1965. 161 pages. See pp. 121-134. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F210.W43.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Gillespie, Paul F. “Baptists.” In Foxfire 7, 28-103. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Catholics.” In Foxfire 7,104-109. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Church of Christ.” In Foxfire 7,110-117. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Episcopalians.” In Foxfire 7,118-138. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Historical Overview.” In Foxfire 7,13-27. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” In Foxfire 7,139-169. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Methodists.” In Foxfire 7,170-197. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Pentecostals.” In Foxfire 7,198-232. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Gillespie, Paul F. “Presbyterians.” In Foxfire 7, 233-265. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1982. ASU MAIN STACKS F291.2 .F692

Grammich, Clifford A. Appalachian Atlas: Maps of the Churches and People of the Appalachian Region. Knoxville, TN: Commission on Religion in Appalachia, 1994. 72 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BR526.G72 1994.

Jones, Loyal. “Appalachian Religion.” Encyclopedia of Religion in the South. Ed. Samuel S. Hill. Macon, GA: Mercer Press. 878 pages. See pp. 38-42. ASU REFERENCE: BR535.E52 1984.

Mead, Frank S. Handbook of Denominations. 8th Ed. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press. 320 pages. ASU REFERENCE: BR516.5.M38 1985.

Newman, William M. and Peter L. Halverson. Atlas of American Religion. New York, NY: Altamira Press, 2000. 176 pages. See pp. 107-167. ASU REFERENCE: BR515.N49 2000.

Stokely, Jim. “Religion.” An Encyclopedia of East Tennessee. Eds. Jim Stokely and Jeff D. Johnson. Oak Ridge, TN: Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, 1981. 556 pages. See pp. 410-413. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F442.1. E53.


Appalachian Bibliography, 1980. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Library, 1980. 2 vols. in one. See pp. 858-879. Under heading “Religion” it lists about 170 annotated citations. ASU APP COLL STACK: Z1251.A7 A6 1980.

Appalachian Studies Bibliography: Religion, 1994-2001. West Virginia University Library. Contains over fifty citations including important recent works. Available on-line at

Burch, John R. 2009. The Bibliography of Appalachia: More Than 4,700 Books, Articles, Monographs and Dissertations, Topically Arranged and Indexed. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.

Jones, Loyal. “Appalachian Religion.” Appalachian Journal: A Guide to Appalachian Studies, 5, no.1, (Aut 1977), 125-130. Includes about 40 citations and a helpful essay on the subject. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F106.A137 G6.

McCauley, Deborah. “Works Cited.” In Appalachian Mountain Religion. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1995. pp. 509-523. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BR 535.M38 1995. McCauley’s exhaustive bibliography, A Bibliography for the Study of Appalachian Mountain Religion, is not published and is available at Hutchins Library, Berea College in special collections and reference call number 016.2775 M123b.

Religious News Press in Appalachia, 1971. Ed. Gary Slaats. Knoxville, TN: Commission on Religion in Appalachia, 1971. 134 pages. Over 250 entries of religious periodicals listed by denomination, state, frequency, format, etc. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z6944.R4 S5.

Abstracts and Indices: 

ATLAReligion. Includes information since 1949. Updated bi-annually. Provides citations to journal articles, essays in multi-author works, and book reviews from three ATLA print indexes: Religion Index One (RIO), Religion Index Two (RIT), and Index to Book Reviews in Religion (IBRR). Highly Relevant subject headings include Appalachia and Appalachian. Also relevant are Missionary and “state”; Missions and “state”; and Church and social problems. More general headings are Missions and “denomination”; and Missionary and “denomination.”

InfoTrac OneFile. Includes information since 1980. Updated daily. Provides citations with abstracts to more than 6,000 general interest magazines, academic journals and more. Includes more than 2,500 full text articles. Highly relevant subject headings include Appalachian Region--religious aspects; Appalachian Region--religion; and Mountain Whites (southern states)--religious aspects. Also relevant are Commission on Religion in Appalachia; Church work with the poor; and Clergy. More general subject headings include--Religion and “state name”; Church and “state name”; and “state name”--religion.

American: History and Life. Includes information since 1964. Updated monthly. Provides citations with abstracts to over 1,800 journals and citations to book/media reviews and dissertations. Covers all English-language historical journals, as well as state and local history journals, and more. Highly relevant subject headings include Appalachia, Appalachia (southern), Missions and missionaries, and Folk Religion. Also relevant are Baptists “subdivide denominationally”, Presbyterian Church- Cumberland, Presbyterian Mission Home and Appalachian Bible College. More general headings are Religion, Churches, Revivals, and Protestantism.

Academic Search Elite

Arts and Humanities Search

Sociological Abstracts



American Missionary Magazine. New York: American Missionary Association. (Merged with Missionary Herald to form Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad. v.1, 1934-1951.) v.1-, 1846-1934. Monthly Jan. 1857- June 1897; Quarterly, Sept. 1897-1901; Monthly (except July and Aug.), 1902-1908; Monthly, 1909-1915; and Monthly (except Aug.), 1916-1934. Issues for 1878-1901 may be found at .

Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review. Boone, NC: Appalachian Statue University. v.1-, 1972 to present. Quarterly. Semi-annual autumn 1972-spring 1974. Indexed in vols. 7, 18, 23, and 28. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F216.2 .A66.

Catholic Committee of Appalachia. 1973. Patchquilt: The Newsletter of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia. Webster Springs, WV: Catholic Committee of Appalachia. ASU SPEC APP COLL BX2347.9.P66 P3

CORAspondent. Knoxville, TN: Commission on Religion in Appalachia. v.1-, June 1982 to Spring 1994. Quarterly. ASU APP COLL STACKS.

Mountain Life and Work. Berea, KY: Berea College. v.1-64, 1925-1988. Quarterly Apr. 1925 (Spr 1925) and Monthly Dec. 1970 (bi-monthly July and August). Indexed yearly in each volume since 1975. ASU APP COLL STACKS: GR103.M5.

Mountain Review. Whitesburg, KY: Appalshop, Inc. v. 1-5, 1974- 1981. Quarterly 1974 and 1979. Bi-annual 1975 and 1977. Tri-annual 1976 and 1978. Annual 1980 and 1981. Good source of sermon, song, and testimony excerpts. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F106.M6.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Jamie Butcher, 4 December 2003

Updated by: 

Updated: Kristen R. Dearmin, 2 November 2010.