West End United Methodist Church

Summer Sunday Series 2022, Session 1


From Camp Meetings to City Halls: Christianity in the 19th Century

(NOTE: As Brandon Baxter says in his introduction, this is the first time we’ve livestreamed and recorded from McWhirter Hall, and there are various technical issues with it, including the video and audio quality.  Also, the video crashed about 34 minutes into the presentation, so it cuts off abruptly before the session has completed.)   Steph Fulbright, who leads this series, is a West End member and a historian of Christianity.  Today she introduces herself and gives her background and then outlines the four-weeks series.  Today’s session focuses on  “Religion in the Early Republic.”  She talks about what she calls “The Great Awakening” period in the late 18th century, a time of realizing the concept of being born again.  She describes the different type of preaching, including preaching outside, of George Whitfield in England and the colonies, and friend of John Wesley.  She then outlines the kinds of effects these two had on people’s attitudes and beliefs and also on legislation.  One of the outcomes of these things was the proliferation of camp meetings.  Revivals, too, grew and produced offshoots of different groups in part by influencing various specific people to become preachers.