Western North Carolina Methodism


In 1772 Methodism appeared in colonial North Carolina, the last major protestant religion to do so. By 1850, Methodism, with over one million members in the United States, was the largest protestant religion in the country. Nationally, the next largest protestant religion in 1850, with approximately five hundred thousand members, was the Baptist denomination. Clearly, Methodism was strong and thriving although in North Carolina it remained second in numbers to the Baptists. This Pathfinder will guide the searcher to much of the information available on Western North Carolina Methodism in the Belk Library and the Appalachian Collection. For the purposes of this document, Western North Carolina is defined as that part of North Carolina typically associated with the Appalachian Mountains whereas the United Methodist Church defines the Western North Carolina Conference as that part of North Carolina west of a line that runs north to south approximately from Greensboro to Charlotte. For historical purposes, this Pathfinder will lead the searcher to several sources on Methodism indirectly related to Western North Carolina since Methodism’s growth in Western North Carolina was a direct result of the expansion of Methodism nationwide.

Introductory Text: 

Clark, Elmer Talmage. Methodism in Western North Carolina . Western North Carolina Conference, 1966. 197 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8328 .W47 C56.

Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • BX 8201 - BX 8495

Baker, Frank . From Wesley to Asbury: Studies in Early American Methodism . Durham: Duke University Press, 1976. 223 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS and ASU MAIN STACKS BX8236 .B34.

Bucke, Emory Stevens. History of American Methodism . New York: Abingdon Press, 1964. in 3 vols. ASU APP COLL STACKS and ASU MAIN STACKS: BX8235 .H5.

Pierce, L. W. Seed Beds of Methodism in Holston Conference . S.l.: s.n., 196-? 88 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8241 .P5 1960.

Sweet, William Warren. Methodism in American History . New York: Abingdon Press, 1933. Revised, 1953. Revised, 1961. 434 pages. ASU MAIN STACKS: BX8235 .S9 1933a.

Christianity in Appalachia: Profiles in Regional Pluralism . Bill J. Leonard, ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BR535 .C45 1999.

Hill, Samuel S. Religion and The Solid South . Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1972. 208 pages. ASU MAIN STACKS: BR535 .H49.

Our Mountain Heritage: Essays on the Natural Cultural History of Western North Carolina . James H. Horton, Theda Perdue, and James M. Gifford, eds. [Cullowhee, NC]: The North Carolina Humanities Committe and Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University, 1979. 131 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F261 .H67. See pp. 114-119.

Journal and Letters of Francis Asbury: In Three Volumes . Elmer T. Clark, J. Manning Potts, and Jacob S. Payton, eds. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1958. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX 8495 .A8 A3 1958, v. 1-3.

Maser, Frederick E. The Dramatic Story of Early American Methodism . New York: Abingdon Press, 1965. 109 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8236 .M3. See pp. 19-94 (not inclusive).

Matthews, Donald G. Religion in the Old South . Chicago: University of Chicage Press, 1977. 274 pages. ASU MAIN STACKS: BR535 .M37.

McCauley, Deborah Vansau. Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History . Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 551 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS BR535 .M38 1995.

Van Noppen, Ina Woestemeyer and John J. Van Noppen. Western North Carolina Since the Civil War . Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1973. 437 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS and ASU MAIN STACKS: F261 .V36 1973. See pp. 179-185, 390-391.

Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church . St. Louis, MO: Pictorial Church Directories of America. 1 vol., unpaged. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8382.2 .A42 W465 1977.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Encyclopedia of Religion in the South . Samuel S. Hill, ed. [Macon, GA]: Mercer Press. 878 pages. ASU REFERENCE: BR535 .E52 1984. See pp. 38-42, and 467-471.

Encyclopedia of Southern History . David C. Roller and Robert W. Twyman, eds. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979. ASU REFERENCE: F207.7 .E52. See pp. 814-815.

The Facts on File Dictionary of Religions . John R. Hinnells, ed. New York: Facts on File. 550 pages. ASU REFERENCE: BL31 .F33 1984.

The HarperCollings Dictionary of Religion . Jonathan Z. Smith, ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. 1154 pages. ASU REFERENCE: BL31 .H37 1995. See pp. 716-717.

Mead, Frank Spencer and Samuel S. Hill. Handbook of Denominations in the United States . Nashville: Abdingdon Press, 1985. 320 pages. ASU REFERENCE: BR516.5 .M38 1985. See pp. 159-172.

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


Appalachian Bibliography, 1980 . Morgantown: West Virginia University Library. 2 vols. in one. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z1251 .A7 A6 1980.

Guide to Private Manuscript Collections in the North Carolina State Archives . Barbara T. Cain, Ellen Z. McGrew, and Charles E. Morris, eds. 3rd rev. ed. 706 pages. Raleigh: North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History. ASU APP COLL STACKS: CD3424 .C34 1981.

Lippy, Charles H. Bibliography of Religion in the South . Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. 498 pages. ASU MAIN STACKS: BR535 .L57 1985.

Religious News Press in Appalachia . Gary Slaats, ed. Knoxville: Commission on Religion in Appalachia, 1971. 134 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z6944 .R4 S5.

Thurston, Mary Lindsay. A Bibliography of North Carolina: 1589-1956 . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1958. 597 pages. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z1319 .T495.

Abstracts and Indices: 

ATLA Religion Database (Web Version) . Keywords: Carolina and Methodist . Updated twice per year. Database coverage: 1949 to present. “A comprehensive database designed to support religious and theological scholarship in graduate education and faulty research. The file contains citations from international titles and 13,000 multi-author works in and related to the field of religion. It also includes a full range of index citations to journal articles, essays in multi-author works, book reviews, and Doctor of Ministry projects from ATLA’s print indexes: Religion Index One (RIO), Religion Index Two (RIT) , and Index to Book Reviews in Religion (IBRR). ” For this topic, contains journal articles from Methodist History , AME Zion Quarterly Review , Ecumenical Trends , Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center , and Engage/Social Action . Also contains 4 abstracts, 4 reviews and 9 essays, some of which are found in the ASU Library.

World Almanac (Web Version) . Keyword: Methodist . Updated annually. Database coverage: from Oct. 21, 1998. Online version of the print titles: The World Almanac and Book of Facts ; The World Almanac of the U.S.A. ; The World Almanac of U.S. Politics ; The World Almanac for Kids . For this topic, contains 112 records from The World Almanac Knowledge Source .


Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review. Boone, NC: Appalachian State University. v. 1, 1972 to present. ASU APP COLL STACKS: F216.2 .A66. See Spring, 1974 and Autumn, 1975 issues.

Carroll, J. W. “ Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, Priorities Survey Report. Review of Religious Research 16 (Fall 1974), p. 61-62. (Cut-and-paste title in the ALTA search engine linked above, then select ”Search. available through interlibrary loan).

Other Sources: 

Manross, Jodie Danielle. A Cultural History of the Boone Methodist Episcopal Church . Honors Thesis (B.A.)--Appalachian State University. 84 leaves. ASU APP COLL STACKS: BX8481 .B6 M48 1996.

Atlas of the Church in Appalachia 1983 . Knoxville: Commission on Religion in Appalachia. 180 pages. 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.