Roots of Appalachian Christianity

Because central and southern Appalachia's distinctive Christianity lacks a clearly recognizable "father figure", religious historians have long struggled to fully explain its origins, traditions, and folklore. In this well researched and authoritative account of the region's religion, John Sparks focuses on Shubal Stearns, an influential early Baptist leader who did much to spread Christianity in southern Appalachia.

Stearns and a dedicated band of followers left New England in 1754 to minister on the frontiers of Virginia and North Carolina. Successful beyond his wildest dreams, Stearns established an association of churches that gave birth to many of the disparate denominations steadfastly maintained in the Appalachian region today.


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