Free Will, Missionary, and Primitive Baptists in Appalachia: Comparing Three Baptist Subdenominations


In Appalachia , many of its residents are defined by their belief in God. The Baptist denomination is divided up into different subdenominations that are unique to Appalachia . This pathfinder focuses on three different subdenominations: Free Will, Missionary and Primitive Baptists. The sources mentioned give a better understanding to the theological and worship practices of the three subdenominations.

Introductory Text: 

Dorgan, Howard. Giving Glory to God: Worship Practices of Six Baptist Subdenominations . Knoxville , TN.: University of Tennessee Press , 1987 ASU APP COLL STACKS BX6337 .D67 1987

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Appalachian Region--Primitive Baptists
  • Baptists--Appalachian Region
  • Baptists-- Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Free Will Baptists (1727-1935)--History
  • Primitive Baptists--Doctrines
  • Primitive Baptists-Appalachian Region

Also Relevant:

  • Appalachian Region-Church History
  • Blue Ridge Mountains -Church History
  • Baptists-- North Carolina History
  • Calvinism- Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Free Will Baptists (1727-1935) -- Doctrines
  • Primitive Baptists-Doctrines
  • Primitive Baptists-History
  • Primitive Baptists-Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Universalism -- Appalachian Region

More General:

  • Appalachian Region--Baptists
  • Appalachian Region--Religion
  • Appalachian Region--Religious Life and Customs
  • Baptists-Dictionaries
  • Baptists-- United States


  • Baptists- North Carolina -History
  • Baptists- Kentucky --History
  • Baptists-Tennessee--History
  • Baptists--Virginia-History
  • Baptists- West Virginia --History
  • Primitive Baptists--Church Controversies
  • Primitive Baptists-- Tennessee -History
  • Primitive Baptists -- Appalachian Region -- Clergy -- Biography
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Religion
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 

Highly Relevant:

  • BX6380
  • BX6383
  • BX6337
  • BX6384
  • BX6374
  • BX6387

Also Relevant:

  • BX380
  • BX6377
  • BX6385
  • BX6480
  • BR535
  • ML3160

More General:

  • BX6211
  • BX6235
  • Related
  • BX6248
  • BX6495

Dorgan, Howard. In the Hands of a Happy god : the “No-Hellers” of Central Appalachia . Knoxville , TN.: University of Tennessee Press, 1997. ASU APP COLL STACKS BX6383 .D67 1997

Leonard, Bill J. Christianity in Appalachia : Profiles in Regional Pluralism . Knoxville , TN.: University of Tennessee Press, 1999. ASU APP COLL STACKS BR535 .C45 1999 Relevant Pages: 116-137

McCauley, Deborah V. Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History . Urbana , IL.: University of Illinois Press, 1995. ASU APP COLL STACKS BR 535.M38 1995 Relevant Pages: 17-19, 219-220, 470-471

Mathis, James R. The Making of the Primitive Baptists: A Cultural and Intellectual History of the Anitmission Movement, 1800-1840 . New York , NY : Routledge Press, 2004. UNCA GENERAL BX6383 .M38 2004

Patterson, Beverly Bush. The Sound of the Dove: Singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptists Churches . Ubrbana and Chicago , IL : University of Illinois Press, 1995. ASU APP COLL STACKS ML3160 .P28 1995

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Albanese, Catherine L. “Appalachian Religion.” Encyclopedia of Southern Culture . Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris, co-editors. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1989. ASU APP COLL OVERSIZE: F209 .E53. Relevant Pages: 1275-1276

Jones, Loyal. “Appalachian Religion.” Encyclopedia of Religion in the South. Ed. Samuel S. Hill. Macon , GA : Mercer Press. ASU REFERENCE: BR535.E52 1984. Relevant Pages:

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

Stokely, Jim. “Religion.” An Encyclopedia of East Tennessee . Eds. Jim Stokely and Jeff D. Johnson. Oak Ridge , TN : Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge , 1981ASU APP COLL STACKS: F442.1. E53. Relevant Pages: 411-414


Bibliography of Religion in the South. Macon , GA: Mercer, 1985. ASU MAIN STACKS BR535 .L57 1985 Relevant Pages :

Appalachian Bibliography, 1980. Morgantown, WV : West Virginia University Library, 1980. 2 vols. in one. ASU APP COLL STACK Z1251.A7 A6 1980. Relevant Pages: 858-879

Appalachian Studies Bibliography : Religion, 1994-2001. West Virginia University Library.

Bibliography of Southern Appalachia. Boone , NC : Appalachian Consortium Press, 1967. ASU APP COLL OVERSIZE: Z1251 .A7 B5x.

Abstracts and Indices: 

America : History and Life database gives many book reviews and journal articles on primarily Primitive Baptists.

ATLA religion database provides numerous journal articles, book reviews and books on Primitive Baptists and Free Will Baptists.

Sociological Abstracts results are few but abstracts of journal articles on Primitive Baptists are found.


Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review . Boone , NC : Appalachian State University . V.1, 1972 to present. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F216.2.A66. Indexed in vols. 7, 18, and 23.

Appalachian Heritage . Hindman, KY : Appalachian Heritage, Inc. Vol. 1, 1973 -- present. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F106 .A137 A6.

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 Colleg . v.1-64, 1925-1988. Indexed yearly in each volume since 1975. ASU APP COLL STACKS: GR103.M5.

Now and Then . Johnson City, Tenn.: Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, 1984. Bound: v.1, Fall 1984-. ASU APP COLL STACK F217.A65 N68

Other Sources: 

Atlas of the Church in Appalachia 1983. Knoxville : Commission on Religion in Appalachia . ASU APP COLL STACKS BR526 .C64 1983.

Atlas of the Church in Appalachia, Administrative Units and Boundaries . Bernard Quinn, ed. Knoxville : Commission on Religion in Appalachia , 1970. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z7753 .Q5.

Dorgan, Howard. C. Howard Dorgan papers, 1792-2000. ASU APP COLL ARCHIVES Collection 116

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Ashley Crabtree, 1 December 2004