Library of Appalachian Preaching
 

The Library of Appalachian Preaching is a collaborative effort, involving the Center for Sermon Studies, the MU Libraries, the Department of English, and the Digital Humanities program.

The Library offers online access to sermons preached within Appalachia, or in other areas by preachers with ties to Appalachia. The first phase involves sermons housed in Marshall's Special Collections Department; other materials will be added as time and other resources permit.

For additional information about this project, please contact , Associate Professor of English and director of the Center for Sermon Studies.

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User Guides
These User Guides are intended to make the collection easier to search and navigate. They will be updated frequently, as additional materials are placed online.

Altmeyer, Henry B., 1870-1930
Altmeyer was born in Wheeling, West Virginia; was ordained to the priesthood in 1897; and was the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Huntington, West Virginia, from 1899 to 1930. In addition to the sermons included in the Library, he was the author of Catholic Doctrines: Recent Misrepresentations and Calumnies Answered (Huntington, WV: Paragon Printing & Publishing Co., [1929]) and Practical Essentials of "Codex Juris Canonici" Concerning the Sacraments (Huntington, WV: Paragon Printing & Publishing Co., 1920)

Additional information can be found in a history of St. Joseph Parish and a biographical sketch drawn from Cabell County Annals and Families (Richmond: Garrett & Massie, 1935).

Atkinson, Robert Poland, 1927-2012
Atkinson was born in Washington, D. C. and studied at the University of Virginia and Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Churches he served included St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Wheeling, West Virginia (assistant rector, 1953-55); Christ Church, Fairmont (rector, 1955-58); Trinity Church, Huntington (rector, 1958-64); and Calvary Church, Memphis, Tennessee (rector, 1964-73). He also served as the fifth Episcopal bishop of West Virginia (1976-88) and the assistant bishop of Virginia (1989-93).

Thus far, Atkinson is the only preacher in the Library to have a Wikipedia page. Additional information can also be found in Chapter XVI of James R. Haworth, Trinity Church, Huntington, West Virginia: Something of Its Story (Huntington, WV: Cook Printing Co., 1964).

Two sermons Atkinson preached during his time at Trinty are housed in the Bokair Family Papers in Marshall’s Special Collections Department. The full text cannot be provided here due to copyright restrictions, but information about the sermons is included in the User Guides. Users may also email Special Collections for more information about the sermons.

Bain, John Wallace, 1833-1910
Bain was a Presbyterian minister and author of such works as God's Songs and the Singer (Pittsburgh: United Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1871); Freemasonry and Kindred Orders Self-Condemned (Pittsburgh: United Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1872); and Pilgrim's Progress, as illustrated by J.W. Bain's Collection of Paintings (New York: Published by J.W. Bain, 1868). At the time he preached National Lessons, he was the pastor of The United Presbyterian Church in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Ball, Franklin, 1822-1886
Ball was born in Virginia and spent time teaching and farming before becoming a Methodist Episcopal minister in 1856. Places he worked in what is now West Virginia included Charleston, Morgantown and Wheeling, where he was Presiding Elder from 1873-76. He ended his career in New York, serving churches in Elmira Marcellus, Phoenix, and Towanda.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). An obituary appeared in the records of the nineteenth session of the Central New York Conference, which took place in Canandaigua in October 1886.

Clark, James Lawrence, 1814-1903
Clark was born in Baltimore and began his ministry in the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His work in West Virginia included serving as Presiding Elder in Charleston, Parkersburg, and Wheeling.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Clark is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890); an obituary appeared in the Official Journal and Minutes of the Fifty-Seventh Annual Session of the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Condit, William Cutter, 1841-1926
Condit was born in Murphysville, Kentucky; graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1866; and was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ashland, Kentucky, from 1866-1921. For additional information, see Genealogical Record of the Condit Family (Newark, NJ: Ward & Tichenor, 1885) and a 1927 report honoring recently-deceased Princeton alumni.

Dix, Daniel H. K., 1828-1911
Dix was born in what is now Upshur County, West Virginia in 1828. He began working as a Methodist Episcopal minster in 1850, in Parkersburg, and went on to serve the church as a Presiding Elder. He also served one term in the state senate, and declined to run for re-election so he could focus on ministry full-time.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Feather, Joseph B., 1833-?
Feather was born in what is now Preston County, West Virginia. His family were evangelical Lutherans, but he became affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church in his late teens and went on to serve in churches throughout the state.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Feather is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890)

Fischbach, Julius, 1894-?
Fischbach was born in Huntington, West Virginia, where his family were members of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. He attended Marshall College (now Marshall University), the University of Michigan, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Some of the sermons in the Library were preached during his time as the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan (now the Christ Community Church of Greater Lansing).

Fitzpatrick, James B.
Fitzpatrick was born and began his ministry in Virginia. He ministered in Maryland, Florida, and elsewhere before arriving in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1872.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Fullerton, James Archer, 1850-?
Fullerton was born in Ireland, where he also began to preach at the age of 17. He came to the United States in 1871 or 1872 and soon became affiliated with the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He went on to pastor churches in Evansville, Charleston, and other cities, and also served as Presiding Elder of the Parkersburg District.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Fullerton is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890).

Gilpin, John R., 1905-1974
Gilpin was born, went to school, and spent much of his career in Kentucky; the churches he served included Hickory Grove Baptist in Kenton and First Baptist in Russell.

Additional information can be found in Volume 1 of John S. Ramond’s Among Southern Baptists (Kansas City, MO: Western Baptist Publishing Company, 1936), and in the February 4, 1939 and March 16, 1940 issues of The Baptist Examiner. Gilpin served as editor; digitized copies are now available via the website of the Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Ohio.

Hall, Ashford, 1826-?
Hall was born in what is now Preston County, West Virginia in 1826. He was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1849 and served as a pastor, circuit rider, and Presiding Elder.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Hite, George Edgar, 1851-?
Hite was born in what is now Guyandotte, West Virginia and studied medicine before his conversion to Christianity in 1870. He began his ministry in 1872, serving first in the Guyandotte District, and later in Rowlesburg, Morgantown, and Wheeling.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Hite is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890).

Hughes, Thomas Bayless, 1836-1917
Hughes was born in what is now Fayette County, West Virginia. He began his ministry in 1857, pastoring churches throughout the state and serving as Presiding Elder of the Buckhannon District.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). A more detailed discussion appears in I Was Made a Minister: An Autobiography, published by his son, Edwin Holt, in 1943.

Ison, Benjamin, 1824-1901
Ison was born and licensed to preach in England. He emigrated to the United States in 1844 and arrived in what is now West Virginia the next year. He served Methodist Episcopal churches in cities including Morgantown, Parkersburg, Weston, and Wheeling.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Jones, Samuel Ernest, 1846-?
Jones was born in England to an Anglican family. He came to the United States in 1870, arriving in West Virginia in 1873. His ministerial assignments included the Mannington and Bridgeport circuits, as well as the Rowlesburg, Fetterman, and Weston stations.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

King, F. H. J., 1834-1916
King was born in what is now Ripley, West Virginia in 1834. He was licensed to preach in 1857 and served in such places as Phillippi, Buckhannon, and Raleigh; he was also the first Presiding Elder of the New River District, which was established in 1880.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Knox, William
Most of the available information on Knox can be found in a publication about the First United Methodist Church of Williamstown, West Virginia, which he served from 1930-34. According that publication, his other pastorates included Seventh Avenue Methodist, Huntington (1939-45); Fourth Street United Methodist, Wheeling (1949-53), and Central Methodist, Buckhannon (1955). He also served as district superintendent in Parkersburg (1945-49) and Huntington (1953-55).

An address Knox gave before the Huntington Ministerial Association in 1954 is housed in the Doris C. Miller Papers in Marshall’s Special Collections Department. It cannot be posted here due to copyright restrictions, but it is included in the User Guides.

The Miller papers also contain other sermons and sermon-related materials that are not included in the Guides due to insufficient information about their authorship and origins. Users may email Special Collections for additional information about these items.

Lacy, Matthew Lyle, 1833-1912
Lacy was born in Virginia, and studied at Hampden-Sydney College and the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was an associate of John McElhenney, serving with him at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in what is now Lewisburg, West Virginia. They were co-pastors from 1869 until McElhenney passed away in 1871; Lacy then served as pastor until 1882. After that, he pastored churches in nearby Monroe County, returning to Lewisburg in 1902 to take charge of a boy's school called The Greenbrier Academy (it later became the Greenbrier Presbyterial School and operated until the end of the 1971-72 academic year).

Additional information can be found in Chapters V and XI of John Fleshman Montgomery, History of Old Stone Presbyterian Church, 1783-1983 (Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Company, 1983).

Lee, Joseph
Lee was born in Ireland and preached in Ireland and Scotland following his conversion to Christianity at the age of 15. He came to West Virginia in 1872, serving churches in such places as Kingwood, Fetterman, Guyandotte, Clarksburg, and Buckhannon.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Linger, O. Afton
Linger’s pastorates included First Baptist Church, Cumberland, Maryland and Milton Baptist Church in West Virginia. According to his page in WorldCat, he is the author of Pilot Aboard; Sermonettes (Lake Mills, Iowa: Graphic Pub. Co., 1971), Church Management Guidelines (Hendersonville, N.C.: Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, [1972]), and a book of poems entitled Linger on the Lines (self-published, 1960),

Linger’s summary of a baccalaureate sermon he preached to the 1957 graduates of Milton High School is housed in the Doris C. Miller Papers in Marshall’s Special Collections Department. It cannot be posted here due to copyright restrictions, but it is included in the User Guides.

The Miller papers also contain other sermons and sermon-related materials that are not included in the Guides due to insufficient information about their authorship and origins. Users may email Special Collections for additional information about these items.

Lyda, Andrew J., 1821-1900
Lyda was born in Maryland and educated at Augusta College, a Methodist school in Augusta, Kentucky. He came to what is now West Virginia sometime in the 1840s and went on to serve in such places as Buckhannon, Clarksburg, Parkersburg, and Weston. For an 18-month period during the Civil War, he was also a chaplain with the Third West Virginia Regiment.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

M. Homer Cummings, 1890-1978

Cummings was a preacher and hymnwriter who pastored Methodist churches in West Virginia from 1910 to 1959. Some of his materials have been uploaded, but both the physical and digital collections are being extensively reorganized. New materials will be made available soon.

Martin, Gideon, 1815-1902
Martin was born in what is now Barbour County, West Virginia in 1815. He was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1836, ministered in what he described as “the hardest and most difficult circuits in West Virginia,” and spent three years as a chaplain in the Union army.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). He is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890); an obituary appeared in the Official Journal and Minutes of the Fifty-Sixth Annual Session of the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Masden, Charles P., 1843-1930
Masden was born in Delaware and ministered in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York before moving to West Virginia in 1879. His time in the state was brief; he left the state again after serving for three years as pastor of the Fourth Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Wheeling.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Mauzé, Joseph Layton, 1873-1937
Mauze was born in Virginia and studied at Hampden Sidney College and Union Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. His pastorates included Central Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Missouri (1902-1917); First Presbyterian Church, Huntington, West Virginia (1917-1928); and Central Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Missouri (1928-1937).

Additional information can be found in Volume III of Walter B. Stevens’ St. Louis: History of the Fourth City, 1763-1909 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909), and in an obituary published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

McDonald, Royce K.
McDonald was a 1937 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. His pastorates included Second Presbyterian Church, Norfolk, Virginia (1949-55) and Enslow Park Presbyterian Church, Huntington, West Virginia. He also served terms as moderator of the Kanawha Presbytery in West Virginia, and as a trustee of Davis and Elkins College in Elkins.

The manuscript of “More than Conquerors,” a baccalaureate sermon preached to the 1957 graduates of Huntington High School, is housed in the Doris C. Miller Papers in Marshall’s Special Collections Department. It cannot be posted here due to copyright restrictions, but it is included in the User Guides.

The Miller papers also contain other sermons and sermon-related materials that are not included in the Guides due to insufficient information about their authorship and origins. Users may email Special Collections for additional information about these items.

McElhenney, John, 1781-1871
McElhenney was born in South Carolina and licensed to preach in Virginia in 1808. In addition to pastoring the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, West Virginia from 1808 until his death, he was deeply involved in missionary work. He preached the inaugural sermon of the new Greenbrier Presbytery in 1838 and was instrumental in expanding the reach of the Presbyterian Church throughout most of what is now the state of West Virginia.

Additional information can be found in the January 1913 issue of the Presbyterian Missionary Survey; Henry Alexander White's sketches of Southern Presbtyerian Leaders (New York: Neale Publishing, 1911); Chapters IV and XI of John Fleshman Montgomery, History of Old Stone Presbyterian Church, 1783-1983 (Parsons, WV: McClain Printing Company, 1983); and especially Recollections of the Rev. John McElhenney, D.D. (Richmond, VA: Whittet and Shepperson, 1893), a collection of testimonials and sermons edited by his granddaughter, Rose W. Fry.

Perry, Alfred Tyler, 1858-1912
Perry was a "Professor of Bibliology" at Connecticut's Hartford Theological Seminary before becoming the sixth president of Marietta College, a school chartered in 1835 in Marietta, Ohio. He was the author of numerous books, including A Handy Harmony of the Gospels (Hartford, Conn.: Hartford Seminary Press, 1894) and The Pre-Eminence of the Bible as a Book (Hartford, Conn.: Hartford Seminary Press, 1899), the address he gave when he began his position at Hartford.

Prickitt, Samuel B. D., 1840-1908
Prickitt was born in Georgia and moved to West Virginia in 1866. He ministered in such places as Wheeling, Charleston, and Huntington, and held administrative posts in the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. According to a memoir published in the 1906 Minutes of the Newark Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was murdered while performing his duties as the village recorder in Metuchen, New Jersey.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Recollections of the Rev. John McElhenney, D.D.
John McElhenney was a Presbyterian pastor and missionary, instrumental in spreading the reach of his denomination throughout what is now the state of West Virginia. This book of "recollections" was compiled by his granddaughter, Rose W. Fry,

Ryan, Edward W.
Ryan was born in what is now Fayette County, West Virginia. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church around the age of 19, but other professional interests and the start of the Civil War kept him from devoting himself to ministry full-time. He finally began working in earnest in 1864, serving churches in such places as Charleston, Morgantown, and Wheeling, where he was appointed Presiding Elder.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Ryan is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890).

Smith, Joseph Edmund, 1830-1910
Smith was born in Maryland and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church upon his conversion to Christianity at age 16. He ministered in Pennsylvania and Delaware before arriving in Wheeling, West Virginia in the early 1880s.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Snodgrass, Winfield Columbus, 1849-?
Snodgrass was born in what is now Ritchie County, West Virginia in 1849. He entered the ministry at age 16 and served in such places as Wheeling, Morgantown, and Parkersburg. He also appears to be the author of Abraham Lincoln: The Typical American, a sermon preached in the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Plainfield, New Jersey, on February 12, 1905.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Steele, Samuel, ?-1886
Steele was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and emigrated to the United States in 1848. He was licensed in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Marion County, West Virginia; places he served included Buckhannon, Clarksburg, Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Weston, Wayne, and Wheeling. He was also a chaplain in the volunteer infantry during the Civil War.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Steele, Samuel E., 1832-1913
Steele was born in Pennsylvania and became affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1850. He studied for the ministry at Bethany College near Wheeling, West Virginia; was licensed to preach in 1856; preached in churches throughout the state; and helped establish Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Cabell County.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Stewart, L. L., 1845-1893
Stewart was born in Pennsylvania and moved to what is now Wood County, West Virginia around the age of 14. He began his ministry in 1870, preaching first in Marshall County and later in places such as Moundsville, Benwood, Point Pleasant, and Fairmont. He also served as Presiding Elder of the Clarksburg District.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).

Thompson, John Rhey, 1852-1904
Thompson was born and educated in Ohio and was assigned to the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1873. He began his ministry in Morgantown and served as president of West Virginia University from 1877-1881; after resigning from the school, he served churches in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York City. Thompson was also the author of Christian Manliness, and Other Sermons (New York: Hunt and Eaton, 1889) and Burden Bearing and Other Sermons (New York: Eaton and Mains, 1905).

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Other mentions appear in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890); an 1889 issue of The Treasury; a Magazine of Religious and Current Thought for Pastor and People; and the 1904 Minutes of the New York East Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Webb, J. Wesley, 1826-?
Webb was born in Virginia, where he was a teacher and medical student before entering the ministry in 1850. His work as a Methodist Episcopal minister in what is now West Virginia began in 1854; he went on to serve as Presiding Elder of the Morgantown and Guyandotte Districts.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883). Webb is also mentioned in Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890).

The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church
The West Virginia Pulpit was compiled by George W. Atkinson, a lawyer and scholar who served as governor of West Virginia from 1897 to 1901. He was also the co-editor, along with Alvaro F. Gibbens, of Prominent Men of West Virginia (Wheeling, WV: W. L. Callin, 1890). As the subtitle indicates, it contains “biographical sketches of representative men in every honorable vocation”; many of the preachers in The West Virginia Pulpit are included there as well.

Wilding, George Cleaton, 1846-1925
Wilding was born in Wales, came to Pennsylvania in 1851, and arrived in what is now Mason County, West Virginia in 1855. He entered the ministry in 1872 and went on to serve in such places as Point Pleasant, Parkersburg, and Wheeling. He served as a Presiding Elder in Parkersburg, and as secretary of the West Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Additional information can be found in the Personal Sketch published in The West Virginia Pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Wheeling, WV: Frew, Campbell, & Hart, 1883).