Colonial History of South Carolina Backcountry

Welcome to a hobby area (under construction). My interest in early (i.e., colonial) South Carolina history started with a family visit to the national park at Ninety Six.

Timeline of the history of Charleston and South Carolina, 1500-present

Upstate Historical Sites

Recommended Resources for Upstate South Carolina Colonial History

Resources on North Georgia History

Resources on Western North Carolina History

(to be done)

Resources on East Tennessee History

(to be done)

Some Notes on Tennessee Religious History

Notes on Tennessee religious history from Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978), pp. 75-118.

The first minister known to have preached in the Tennessee Country was Reverend Charles Cummings, a Presbyterian, who preached to the people in the Holston Valley as early as 1772. It is interesting as to how he protected himself from the lawless group. He went to services armed with a rifle and plenty of powder and lead.

The first church built in Tennessee was probably in Sullivan County not far from Blountville before 1777.

... Even though the Presbyterian got that early start, the Baptist and Methodist grew much more rapidly. The reason was that the Presbyterians insisted that their ministers be well educated.

At that time, it was different with Baptists. They did not insist upon educated preachers. If God called an uneducated man, it was not required that he be educated. Too, Baptist Churches were individual churches at that time.

... The Methodist church was organized in America long after the Baptist and Presbyterian. There were very few Methodists in the Thirteen Colonies when the Revolutionary War began, but they started organizing. Their number increased tremendously during the next few years. The first Circuit-rider in Tennessee was Jeremiah Lambert. In 1783, he was appointed to ride the "Holston Circuit".

They rode from community to community putting up at anyone's house where they were made welcome and preaching the gospel in brush arbors, barns, under a tree, or it might be a church, but rarely. Aside from the Bible and other books, they carried little as they traveled the countryside on horseback. Their chief concern was to preach the gospel and to win souls for Christ. Despite the fact that they oft-times buried themselves in the wilderness in pioneer days, they became servants who made Tennessee the stronghold of Methodism in the South.

From the work of these Circuit Riders stemmed the "Camp Meetings". These servants preached to very small groups where ever they stopped and as they told one group of another group they had a desire to meet. Thus, spiraled "Camp Meeting" during the summer.

The first "Camp-Meeting" recorded was about 1800. Families came via wagons, buggies, horseback or on foot, bringing their food and clothing for the week or two.

a Tenn./Ky. religious history would be incomplete w/o a few Church of Christ history links (post-colonial, some quick web search hits, very incomplete)

[Mark's homepage] [CPSC homepage] [Clemson Univ. homepage]