As We Will Know Each Other in Heaven: The Place of the 1872 Knoxville National Camp Meeting in the Imagined Geography of the Wesleyan Holiness Movement

Samuel Avery-Quinn

Samuel Avery-Quinn is University College Visiting Assistant Professor at Appalachian State.

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Samuel Avery-Quin, "As We Will Know Each Other in Heaven: The Place of the 1872 Knoxville National Camp Meeting in the Imagined Geography of the Wesleyan Holiness Movement," Journal of Southern Religion (19) (2017):

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Early in September 1872, Rev. John F. Spence, a presiding elder in the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, walked through a forest north of Knoxville, Tennessee. Passing him, workers carried tents from a distant railroad platform, across the farm of Confederate veteran Arthur Crozier, and into the woods. The twenty-acre grove, bordering the wetlands of Second Creek, offered sweeping views of Grassy Valley and Sharp’s Ridge. Such landscape details were lost on Spence as he imagined a great circle of white canvas tents transforming the Knoxville forest into the kind of leafy cathedral he remembered from his rural Ohio childhood. As workers cut back tangles of underbrush, raked debris from a large clearing and drove tent stakes, Spence’s imagination populated the grounds with memories. He imagined “pedestrians with their coats and shoes supported by a stick on their shoulders, the women, their gorgeous bandanas fluttering in the breeze,” and voices singing “as the sound of many waters.”[1] Two days later, the Knoxville Daily Chronicle published Spence’s account of his walk in the woods. Readers learned more details of his “boyhood’s earthly paradise” than of progress preparing the grounds for the Fourteenth National Camp Meeting of the National Camp-Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness—a camp meeting that would be a defining moment in the nationalization of the Wesleyan holiness movement in the United States.[2]

In scholarly literature tracing the spread of the Wesleyan holiness movement in the American South, the National Camp-Meeting Association’s Knoxville revival is well-known, little detailed, and, arguably, undervalued.[3] The meeting was notable not for being a defining moment in the history of southern holiness, but as an odd moment of northern evangelists promoting a theology of Christian perfection foreign to the region. Melvin Dieter’s history of the holiness movement gives the Knoxville meeting little attention but notes that the revival met with meager success amid local suspicion of the Association’s northern origins.[4] Randall Stephens’s more recent treatment of the meeting notes that while the Knoxville audience found similarities between the northern evangelists’ preaching and the expressive style of plain-folk camp meeting revivalism, the meeting did not have a lasting effect in East Tennessee.[5] In the scholarly literature, the meeting seems a blip in the spread of the holiness message in the South, a message that only took root decades after the Knoxville revival with the emergence of indigenous southern holiness leadership.

To recognize the importance of the Knoxville camp meeting necessitates reframing the meeting within the context of the nationalization of the Wesleyan holiness movement as well as giving attention to more details of the meeting than historians of southern religion have so far given the revival. The Association was one of the most prominent public faces of the holiness movement, providing disparate groups of advocates linked by holiness literature with grand public occasions for expressing and refining their collective identity.[6] Through the 1880s, emerging from cities and towns in the Northeast, the Association’s revivals carried the holiness message on evangelistic tours across the United States, to the West Coast, deep into the South, and across the globe to Europe and India. The Association’s southern tours were a crucible for their holiness message. In the South, the Association wrestled with sectional hostility to their nationalist ambitions, and faced audiences that were not part of the existing holiness network which flocked to their successful national camp meetings in the North. For an organization founded to nationalize holiness and promote decorous revivalism inspired by the social respectability to which the organization’s middle-class, urban ministers ascribed, the southern tours would also shape the Association’s message and engagement with emotional religiosity in ways no other National Camp Meeting or evangelistic tour would.

In this article, I reposition the 1872 Knoxville National Camp Meeting as a decisive moment in the spread of the Wesleyan holiness movement. As the first of the Association’s ventures into the post-war South, the revival best exemplifies the challenges of sectionalism and the foreignness of a holiness message. The meeting would not only reshape the Association’s preaching to offer a more succinct emphasis on defining sanctification and the relationship of sanctification to conversion but also revealed different understandings of holiness in the Upland South in the early 1870s.

Creating a National Holiness Movement

The National Camp-Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness was an outgrowth of the renewed popularity of John Wesley’s notions of human perfectibility.[7] In the soteriology of Methodism’s founder, salvation brought release from the guilt of sin and restoration to divine favor followed by sanctification, which would remake believers who cannot intentionally sin. By the middle of the nineteenth century, holiness advocacy was a prominent subculture in the church, but advocates squabbled over competing claims for sanctification as either a gradual, life-long process after conversion or an instantaneous event followed by a lifetime of self-monitoring and social testimony. Gradualists, such as Nathan Bangs, cast themselves as representatives of orthodox Wesleyan holiness theology and challenged advocates holding the instantaneous view as promoting the kind of novel theology the Methodist episcopacy cautioned against in an 1854 pastoral address.[8] In 1867, as the Methodist press reported widespread holiness revivals the preceding year in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey marked by jumping, prophesying, shouting, and other ecstatic displays, instantaneous advocates in New York City and Philadelphia feared the revivals would label the whole of the movement as fanatical.[9] Seeking institutional legitimacy for holiness advocacy, the Association, under the leadership of Rev. John Inskip and Rev. William Osborn, held a holiness camp meeting in the southern New Jersey town of Vineland. The revival was the first large-scale public gathering of holiness advocates. The meeting drew over 10,000 attendees, featured a keynote sermon from Bishop Matthew Simpson, promoted respectable worship, and received significant attention in the religious and secular press.

The Association cast their rural South Jersey revival as a national holiness revival, not only declaring the geography of the holiness movement as equal to the reunified geography of the post-war United States but stressing the need for the spiritual power of holiness to renew the church across the country. As Kenneth Brown and Melvin Dieter argue, the Association’s revitalistic impulse was widespread in the church during the Civil War, as expressed in an 1864 pastoral address of the bishops seeking “a gracious revival of religion, deep, pervading, and permanent … the outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon the Church, the nation, and the world.”[10] For many northern Methodists, victory in the war and preservation of the Union wed a sense of triumphalism to their want of spiritual renewal. Bishop Jesse Truesdell Peck declared the close of the war a new era in American history, one of overwhelming greatness in which a new American church would transcend a mass of conflicting sects and be “a living, united, free, evangelical Church, the vital force and grand working power of the new nation.”[11] For Bishop Gilbert Haven, the new era was utopian. Northern values would pervade the whole of the country, remolding America into a city on a hill bearing “the image of the transfigured Christ shining in our uplifted face.”[12] Describing the Methodist clergy leading the Association as “the moral aristocracy of a triumphant nation,” William Kostlevy suggests Northern victory emboldened these holiness advocates with the sense of being “the spiritual force that lay behind the military and industrial power of the postbellum North.”[13] In the years between their Vineland revival and their arrival in Knoxville, the Association echoed these triumphalist themes, casting their national camp meetings as battlefields on which spiritual warfare would be waged to promote holiness, revitalize the church, and strengthen the nation.[14] In 1875, the Association’s periodical, the Advocate of Christian Holiness, published an article from the Rev. J. W. Hill of Philadelphia claiming:

“Holiness is an element of union, of strength and concord. It is the only thing that will ever unite the Church, and bring on the Millennium…It abolishes caste, removes prejudice, annihilates sectarian bigotry, and cements the whole Church together in the unity of the faith and the bonds of peace. Men know each other and understand each other better as they are cast in the mould of holiness. I think I begin to understand how we shall know each other in heaven. Holiness brings out and develops soul recognitions.”[15]

Hill’s sentiment captured a central theme in the Association’s self-understanding. However, by war’s end, the nationalist dimension of the Association’s identity, as well as that of the early holiness movement was more aspirational than actual for a movement still concentrated in the cities and towns of the Northeast.

At the time of the first national camp meetings, the Association appealed to thousands of clergy and lay holiness advocates from Baltimore to Boston. Linking these advocates was the readership of holiness literature and a common practice of sharing their personal pursuit of sanctification in small group meetings. Within the region, the New York to Philadelphia corridor formed a cultural hearth, home not only to the holiness publishing ventures of Phoebe Palmer, the Association’s own periodical, and several holiness-friendly Methodist newspapers, but also a concentration of ongoing holiness revivals and holiness-friendly camp meeting grounds. Palmer’s books on holiness and her Guide to Holiness, with a readership in the early 1870s rivaling that of the New York Christian Advocate, were significant elements linking this holiness network. Her summer travels to lead holiness experience meetings at camp meetings throughout the region were an important precursor of the Association’s revivals.[16] The weekly holiness meetings Palmer and her husband, Walter, hosted at their New York City home, and accounts of which she reprinted in the Guide, made such meetings and their forms of holiness testimony replicable in hundreds of similar small groups throughout the region. After the success of the Vineland revival, advocates and holiness-friendly Methodists established camp meetings and Christian leisure resort communities at Ocean Grove and Pitman Grove, New Jersey, as well as Sea Cliff and Round Lake, New York, to host holiness advocates seeking retreat from the industrial city.[17] By 1869, linked to New York City and Philadelphia by rail, these grounds, with cottages, hotels, stores, and infrastructure for public worship, became regular hosts for national camp meetings.[18]

By 1870, the Association sought to extend their mission with evangelistic tours extending beyond the holiness network to the frontiers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1871, John Inskip and other leaders of the Association embarked on a cross-country tour “stirring up the great West.”[19] The tour, with stops in St. Louis, Missouri, Omaha, Nebraska, and several locations in California, brought the Association’s message to regions where the holiness network was not well-established. In California, they found a general indifference to the revitalist spirit so embraced at home in the Northeast. After a revival in Sacramento, the traveling clergy complained that the “churches are possessed of so little spiritual power,” and a subsequent meeting outside San Jose failed to attract much local interest.[20] However, on their way to the indifferent West Coast, the evangelists’ reception in St. Louis revealed a far-flung node of the holiness network was already in place among Missouri Methodists. At a meeting of the St. Louis conference, the evangelists found clergy familiar with the message of holiness, such that after Inskip’s address, “nearly the whole conference came to the altar seeking the ‘baptism of fire.’”[21] The local embrace of the Association extended beyond the hospitality of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as Inskip was “kindly received also by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and enjoyed some precious seasons with them.”[22] In language foreshadowing their 1872 Knoxville venture, the Advocate of Christian Holiness reprinted an editorial from the Northwestern Christian Advocate. The editorial heralded the Association’s St. Louis revival as promoting “a calmer and clearer theology on this subject” that “would take all the North and South out of us, and make us sweetly one in Christ Jesus.”[23] That southern venture would, however, be unlike the indifference of California and the welcoming embrace of St. Louis.

On October 18, 1871, the leadership committee of the Association met in New York City to plan their holiness campaign for 1872. Thirteen Methodist campgrounds in the Northeast and Midwest offered to host national camp meetings. The clergy construed the requests to show the growth of the holiness movement and a greater need for the sense of cohesion their revivals fostered. They voted to hold twice as many camp meetings in 1872 as they held that year. An account of the meeting in the Advocate of Christian Holiness announced five locations for 1872: Richmond, Maine; Oaks Corners, New York; Sea Cliff, New York; Urbana, Ohio; and Williamsville, Illinois; and a sixth meeting “in the South ... time and location not fixed.”[24] Seven more months of “prayer and advising with prominent members of our church both North and South” passed before Rev. William McDonald announced that meeting would be in Knoxville, Tennessee.[25]

With rail connections to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Nashville, post-war Knoxville was a commercial hub for southern Appalachia. The city's economy recovered from the war such that by 1871 a visiting reporter from Richmond, Virginia, claimed that “no city of the South, except Atlanta, improved more rapidly since the war than had Knoxville.”[26] Shepherding the town's growth was a cadre of old money, commercial elite, and transplants with newfound fortunes in the city's expanding commerce and industry. They were civic boosters, fostering an image of East Tennessee as a “Little Switzerland” of pure mountain air, railroad connections, coal, marble, timber, and a hard-working stock of white mountaineers. They invested in local infrastructure, served together in charitable institutions, established an industrial association, and, later, a board of trade. Members of the Knoxville Industrial Association and business elite from the First Methodist Episcopal Church supported the Association's revival as a civic project. Their ranks included industrialists John H. Jones, one of the founders of the Knoxville Iron Company, and David Richards, the company’s general manager, as well First Methodist trustees S. P. Angel, a prominent attorney, Marcus Bearden, former mayor of Knoxville, and William Rule, editor of the Knoxville Daily Chronicle. Rule's paper, which began promoting the camp meeting in July, printed daily reports from the grounds during the meeting.

Nostalgia and Sectionalism in East Tennessee

Through Rule’s paper and word of mouth, news of the meeting spread through East Tennessee. From the pulpit of First Methodist Church, the Rev. John B. Ford recommended that “preachers in East Tennessee take hold of this matter, talk with your people, urge them to attend and tend [sic] on the ground.”[27] Days before the meeting opened, families pitched at least 40 Sibley tents with “bedsteads, tables, carpets, and even stoves” on the grounds.[28] By the opening of the meeting on Saturday, September 21, a reporter for the Knoxville Daily Press and Herald claimed that “many of those present seemed to be of the surrounding rural population.”[29] Association minister, Rev. W. T. Harlow of Philadelphia, found significant interest in holiness among these tenting families as he claimed that “intelligent men of all denominations entered with us into the fountain of cleansing.”[30]

For some East Tennesseans, visiting the grounds was a matter of curiosity enabled by cheap excursion train fares and a fleet of hacks and omnibuses making the round trip from downtown Knoxville every few hours.[31] At the revival’s opening service 300 attendees gathered at the preacher’s stand.[32] Their numbers on the grounds grew to at least 600 as trains arrived from nearby Anderson and Blount counties.[33] Estimates suggest attendance varied during the week but swelled to between 5,000 and 6,000 people in attendance during the revival’s two Sabbaths.[34] For an untold number at the camp meeting, as the meeting's promise of an antebellum revival with traditional preaching and traditional landscape.

In urging East Tennesseans to attend the National Camp Meeting in Knoxville, John F. Spence claimed the revival would not only be old-fashioned, but would be a revival “bringing us back to all the plain, frugal, practical character of our forefathers.”[35] The appeal of old-fashioned antebellum revivalism was widespread in East Tennessee after the Civil War. As much as the war disrupted congregational life, hostilities halted the early fall revivals across the countryside. In September 1869, when Rev. R.M. Hickey held a camp meeting near Cane Creek, an editorial in the Athens Post commented that “it is about the only real old fashioned camp meeting that has occurred in this part of the country since the war.”[36] By 1871, ministers in the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church embraced the traditional camp meeting revival as a means of bolstering denominational membership. Late that August, the Jonesboro Herald and Tribune published a list of planned events for the Jonesboro District of the conference including church revivals and camp meetings at the Sulphur Springs Camp Meeting west of Johnson City, and the Turkeytown Camp Meeting near Elizabethton.[37] At Sulphur Springs, the revival drew an interdenominational gathering of area residents as well as William Rule’s compliments for “a spectacle truly grand. Indeed, it looks like the returning of the good old times which we enjoyed in ante bellum days.”[38] The preceding year, southwest of Knoxville, on the edge of Cumberland Plateau, Rev. A.B. Wright preached at Mount Union which, “had once been a campground, however the camps and the old shed had gone down. The people of the neighborhood had built a shed the preceding year … the services were conducted in the old fashioned camp meeting style.”[39] With articles promoting the Knoxville National Camp Meeting appearing in local newspapers as early as July 1872, the meeting was well-positioned to be a grand spectacle of old-fashioned revivalism.[40]

If newspaper and word-of-mouth stories promoting the Knoxville meeting made the revival seem like a return to antebellum religious practice, then the landscape of the Grassy Valley grounds materialized that nostalgia. Transforming the twenty-acre grove on the Crozier farm was a joint effort by Rev. Henry Little of the Association and a local committee directed by Marcus Bearden, John B. Ford, and Rev. J.J. Manker of Knoxville.[41] Their project seemed southern and traditional, but lacked elements common to southern Appalachian campgrounds since the 1820s, and incorporated innovative elements of the Association’s traveling stock of experience meeting tents and tabernacle. Within the grove, the revival landscape centered on a large clearing.[42] In the western two-thirds of the clearing, lines of Sibley tents stood in a 200-foot by 100-foot rectangle around a central worship area. In the eastern third of the clearing was the billowing white canvas of the Association's tabernacle. In the central worship space, plank seats that could accommodate 3,000 attendees faced west to a preacher's stand. The Association decorated the elevated platform with banners bearing brief theological claims: “HOLINESS TO THE LORD,” read the largest, flanked by “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world,” and “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleansest us from all sin.” In the forest, to the north and west of the clearing, workers erected tents wherever topography permitted. Nearest to the clearing was the Association’s bookstore tent selling copies of the books, periodicals, and tracts that were the sinews of the holiness network. Near the bookstore stood several prayer meeting tents, intimate spaces for testimonies of sanctification and social modeling.

In the North, when not hosted by established camp meeting villages with an infrastructure capable of hosting thousands of attendees, the Association preferred traditional camp meeting designs reminiscent of Second Great Awakening revivals.[43] Their traditionalism was a strategy for seeking Methodistic legitimacy by injecting holiness performances onto Methodism’s cherished stage for the denomination’s historical drama. In southern Appalachia, a traditional camp meeting of an oblong square of tents surrounding an elevated preaching platform was a historical artifact, a design predating the antebellum camp meeting experience of many attendees at the Knoxville meeting. By mid-century, southern Appalachian campgrounds embraced the use of open-walled, wood frame sheds, commonly a story-and-a-half high of hand-hewn timber posts, exposed roofing joists and trusses, plank benches running on horizontal timbers facing a raised preaching dais.[44] Family cabins, called camps, surrounded the shed in a circle or square. These campgrounds became interdenominational sites where participation in a revival was more a matter of kinship and rural community membership than of denominational affiliation. From the Knoxville meeting, attendees would need travel only a few miles to find such grounds—at the Fountain Head Campground three miles east or Bells Campground five miles north on Beaver Ridge. At the Knoxville meeting this simulacratic landscape would be the space onto which the Association deployed their message, beginning with rules for behavior typical of holiness advocates’ concerns for decorous conduct.

A week before the meeting, the Daily Chronicle published the Association’s schedule of services and rules banning the sale of tobacco and soda water as well as prohibiting “promenading [and] political discussions.”[45] John Inskip repeated the rules in his opening remarks to the meeting, urging attendees to act aware of the presence of the Divine and exemplify holiness in every action on the grounds. Throughout the meeting, Inskip and other evangelists took to the preaching platform to commend instances of attendees’ decorous conduct. In the Daily Chronicle, William Rule basked in the northern evangelists’ praise. “Scarcely an instance of … indecorous conduct came to our observation,” Rule wrote, “and we take great pleasure in speaking of the character thus accorded by strangers.”[46] Similar praise for the meeting’s “excellent order” came from the Atlanta-based Methodist Advocate.[47] As much as comportment with the behavioral standards of perfect Christians fostered acclaim of the meeting and quelled misbehavior and violence on the grounds, the codes of the perfect Christian could do little to spare the meeting from criticisms emerging from sectional religious strife in East Tennessee.

By 1872, Southern Methodist membership in Middle and West Tennessee was recovering from wartime lows, but in East Tennessee, the southern church continued to struggle.[48] During the war, the region was divided between those Tennesseans with affinity and economic ties to the Deep South and those who questioned what advantage it would be for small townsfolk and rural farmers with no plantations and relatively few slaves to join the cause of defending slavery. These societal fissures between Confederates and Unionists ran through East Tennessee’s Methodist churches and were exacerbated in 1864 when southern Bishop John Early launched church trails to expel ministers suspected of Union sympathies.[49] While some among Early’s cadre of Confederates considered the trials an unwise action, the measures stoked the ire of Unionist firebrand and newspaper editor William Brownlow. In 1866, Brownlow, serving as governor of Tennessee, was all too happy to welcome Cincinnati Bishop Adam Clark to Athens, Tennessee, for a meeting of aggrieved Southern Methodist ministers.[50] In Athens, Clark and northern ministers including John B. Ford and John F. Spence worked with the disaffected southerners to found the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They drew the new conference’s boundaries contiguous to those of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, and western North Carolina. The geographic overlay led clergy in the southern church to call the venture a ploy to dismantle and absorb their still struggling conference. After the war, the southern conference had lost forty-two percent of its pre-war membership.[51] While southern conference membership grew in the years after the Athens meeting, competition with the northern conference was intense. Membership in the Northern Holston Conference quadrupled from 5,146 in 1865 to 20,223 in 1872,[52] while membership in the southern conference only recovered to pre-war levels by the mid-1870s.

At the time of the National Camp Meeting in Knoxville, conflict between the two conferences stood at an odd balance between a heated property dispute offset by expressions of fraternal relations between individual members of the two conferences. The property dispute stemmed from entire congregations leaving the southern fold and taking dozens of churches, parsonages, and even a few camp meeting grounds with them. Southern clergy demands for the return of dozens of properties in a swath from Athens north to Jonesborough began with appeals to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a later annual meeting of the Northern Holston Conference.[53] When their northern brethren rebuffed their appeals, southern clergy filed lawsuits in Chancellery courts.[54] Although editorials in the northern conference’s Holston Christian Advocate and the southern conference’s Holston Methodist stoked the conflict with charges and counter-charges of political animus, discussions of co-existence and fraternal relations between the conferences always returned to the topic of the property dispute. “If their next Annual Conference,” opined one writer in the Holston Methodist, abandoned “all houses of worship and parsonages claimed by the Southern Church, how soon would all this bitterness and strife pass away?”[55] While such conflict tormented conference relations, ministers on both sides tried to maintain personal relationships across the divide. By 1870, the conferences regularly sent delegations bearing fraternal greetings to each other’s annual meetings. Among the disaffected southern clergy joining the northern conference, many maintained friendships with ministers in the southern conference, often traveling and worshipping together and sharing pulpits.[56]

The local church conflict shaped the National Camp Meeting Association’s framing of the Knoxville revival. Before 1872, the Association seemed convinced that the spiritual power of holiness was sufficient to revitalize the church and unite Methodist hearts, but their Knoxville meeting would wed direct appeals to the traditional bonds of Methodist fraternity to the message they bore to Knoxville. In an article published by the Advocate of Christian Holiness in August 1872, William McDonald had intimations the Association would be charged with favoring the Unionists. “Our only purpose,” he wrote, “is to advance the glory of God and the well-being of men, by the promotion of Christian holiness.”[57] By September, McDonald addressed challenges from the southern church, repeating his claim of the meeting’s non-sectarian character. “As God as our Judge,” he wrote, “we have no such purpose... Our sole object is to raise up the old Wesleyan standard of holiness for the people of all denominations.” He stated his hope that many members of their southern brethren would visit the grounds and take part in their meeting in a spirit of Christian fraternity. Among the southern brethren taking up McDonald’s offer was Holston Methodist editor, Richard Nye Price. Although Price would first attack the Association’s venture as having “a political name, in harmony with the semi-political animus of the M.E. Church, under whose auspices it is held,” Price would later express personal admiration for John Inskip and African American evangelist Amanda Smith.[58] Inskip, Price noted, preached in “the most evangelical character, seeming to come from a heart warm with the grace of God,” while Smith, who Price tearfully embraced after her sanctification testimony offered during the closing prayer meeting of the revival, was “a modest, well-behaved woman; and we have no doubt that she sings sweetly, and exhorts powerfully.”[59]

Beyond framing the meeting, a discourse of fraternity reshaped the revival’s services. During the revival’s opening ceremony, John Inskip departed from the Association’s standard order of service to address fraternity and the unifying power of holiness. Inskip told his audience that local Methodists invited him and his fellow northern evangelists to Knoxville for “no sinister design,” no partisanship on behalf of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and no ulterior motives than to “spread scriptural holiness.”[60] Inskip then gestured to W. T. Perkins, a reporter for the Indianapolis Sentinel, and challenged his audience to “tell a Hoosier from a Tennessean, a Bostonian from an Alabamian.”[61] Holiness, he proclaimed, “makes us wonderfully alike, and is destined in the providence of God to unite the hearts of the people of the North and South.”[62] During the revival, the Association paired traveling evangelists with local clergy to lead prayer meetings and experience meetings, and relied on local clergy to offer prayers and exhortations from the preacher’s stand. One afternoon service at the stand became an occasion for local clergy testifying “to the power of the gospel to ‘save to the uttermost.’”[63] On the revival’s closing afternoon, Republican congressional candidate Horace Maynard of Knoxville addressed the crowd, praising the meeting an “incalculable benefit in softening and dissipating the bitter feelings that existed among the people.”[64] After Maynard, an unnamed Confederate veteran stood and claimed “this work has done more to bridge the bloody chasm than all the acts of Congress, conferences, and synods.”[65] After the revival, the Association embraced the notion that the heartfelt bonds of fraternity ease the unifying power of holiness, and would carry that idea forward in subsequent ventures in the South over the next decade.

Translating Holiness at Knoxville

While the behavioral rules of the meeting promoted decorous conduct, and the challenge of sectionalism seemed surmountable by the commingling spirit of fraternity and Christian holiness, the Knoxville meeting was not without tensions. Crossing the grounds one afternoon, Amanda Smith, an African American holiness evangelist from Brooklyn, New York, paused to watch Rev. William Gray of Philadelphia, his back against a tree, cornered into an argument about holiness by a Southern conference minister.[66] Similar challenges to the Association’s holiness message punctuated the first days of the revival, which Smith described as “terribly uphill during those three days. Prejudice against the doctrine was strong. There had been some blessing, but not what they called a break.”[67] Although articles published in Price’s Holston Methodist during the months before and after the meeting cast holiness advocacy as a form of religious fanaticism, the greater driver of tensions at the uphill revival was an audience largely unfamiliar with the Association’s notion of sanctification.[68]

In the South, early interest in holiness waned by the 1840s, as Rev. Lovick Pierce of Georgia claimed, the Southern church, preoccupied with salvation, abandoned the doctrine of sanctification.[69] The early nineteenth century revivals of the Second Great Awakening had spurred Baptist and Methodist growth in the region.[70] The resulting Baptist-Methodist hegemony was fundamentally concerned with the degraded state of humanity, introspection, and salvation through a conversion experience of divine power. Conversion was a seminal occasion in the theological anthropology of southern religion, leaving limited room for the multi-stage process of salvation that sanctification suggested.[71] Calvinist notions of predetermined salvation, receiving divine virtue upon conversion, and a belief in the unalterable sinfulness of human nature made southerners suspicious of holiness advocates’ claims for the perfectibility of self and society.[72] After the war, few southerners advocated the holiness theologies popular in the North. Instead, most retained their own theologies as they wrestled with making meaning out of Confederate defeat, social upheaval, industrialization, and modernization.

Holiness traveled south with northern missionaries and the territorial advance of the Methodist Episcopal Church. As missionaries established black colleges and industrial schools throughout the South, holiness advocates Washington DePauw and William McDonald collaborated on the establishment of the Cookman Institute near Jacksonville, Florida.[73] Other northern advocates, such as William Osborn, traveled south for posts in new Methodist Episcopal Church conferences.[74] In 1871, Northern Methodist minister William Baker published The Home Altar in McMinnville, Tennessee.[75] The venture, the first holiness periodical published in the postwar South, reprinted holiness essays from Timothy Merritt, Thomas Upham, John Wood, and Phoebe Palmer. Despite these early efforts, contemporary scholarship notes that holiness did not have substantial gains in the South until the emergence of indigenous leadership and a proliferation of local holiness literature in the 1880s and 1890s.[76]

By the middle decades of the nineteenth century in the Upland South, few Methodists pursued sanctification, and even fewer subscribed to the instantaneous orientation taking hold among their northern brethren. Holiness was an infrequent topic in regional Methodist newspapers, appearing as a concept for consideration, more an element of Methodist theological tradition than an active pursuit for readers. However, glimpses of holiness appeared on occasion in the region’s religious press, such as when the personal pursuit of holiness became an active topic in the pages of the Nashville Christian Advocate between 1858 and 1860. Upon returning from the meetings of two annual conferences in 1858, the paper’s editor, Rev. Holland McTyeire, claimed that the best sermons he heard were on Christian perfection. The future bishop of the Southern church found the topic “strong and peculiar. The Spirit gives unction to it. There must be truth in it.”[77] His editorial opened a brief window into holiness support in the region, inviting a series of articles and letters from readers. Among the pieces, Rev. John H. Boyd penned an article that extolled sanctification as “a sublime spiritual power” consecrating all aspects of a believer’s life.[78] Rev. R. A. Wilson urged clergy to be “wholly sanctified, and let them go forth preaching entire holiness of heart and mind as a reality, and as a blessing to be enjoyed now."[79] Readers went so far as to submit extracts from their diaries as personal testimonies to their experiences of sanctification. One unnamed “Itinerant” from Louisville, Kentucky, urged McTyeire to publish his diary pages in order to “afford aid to any of your readers in attaining and professing ‘perfect love.’”[80] By 1862, however, the outbreak of hostilities pushed sanctification aside for military and political news in the paper.

While sanctification faded from the attention of the region’s largest Methodist newspaper, in East Tennessee, the war raised spiritual and theological questions. For Rev. A. B. Wright of Fentress County, northwest of Knoxville, holiness seemed the answer. Wright was a “pronounced Union man,” like many of his neighbors on the northeastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau.[81] Leaving the southern church, he joined the northern Holston conference in October 1867. His sanctification during an 1871 revival in Morgan County, when “the Lord came powerfully into my heart, and filled me with a joy unspeakable,” became the topic of his love feast testimony at the next annual conference meeting.[82] Wright claimed, “I was enabled to rise above a low type of Christian living, and to soar into the clear, unclouded element of full consecration, of perfect love, basking in the sunshine of entire sanctification. I have all the time believed that sanctification is the grandest doctrine of Methodism, clearly taught by our illustrious founder, as well as by the Word of God.”[83] He claimed that his holiness preaching at revivals from Kingston, Tennessee north to Fentress and Morgan counties, was well received, suggesting a growing number of East Tennessee Methodists were receptive to the doctrine.

At the Knoxville revival, local advocates like A. B. Wright seemed to make up a minority of attendees. While W.T. Harlow found an earnest pursuit of holiness among attendees tenting on the grounds, he was convinced that most of the “unexpected multitude … listened with marked attention—many for the first time in their lives—to the doctrine of a present and full salvation.”[84] Aside from the tent community representing advocates from surrounding rural counties, an interdenominational number of advocates made daily trips to the meeting from Knoxville. The town hosted at least two regular meetings for holiness. At First Methodist Church, Rev. John B. Ford led holiness meetings for his congregation through the middle of the 1870s.[85] Across town, at Second Presbyterian Church, Rev. Nathaniel Bachman offered similar meetings. Visiting Knoxville in 1873, Amanda Smith took part in services at Bachman’s church, where congregants discussed Phoebe Palmer’s popular The Way of Holiness, and told Smith of their subscriptions to the Guide to Holiness.[86] Thousands of East Tennesseans joined these advocates on the grounds, attending out of idle curiosity or religious devotion. Among the latter were many representing a distinctive tradition of mountain holiness.

During the meeting, trains arrived bringing attendees Maryville, Tennessee, a gateway to the mountainous counties southeast of Knoxville. If a segment of attendees fell into Randal Stephens’s mold of listeners for whom instantaneous sanctification was a foreign concept, but who also found the northern evangelists’ style of preaching similar to that of plain-folk camp meeting revivalism, it would have been these mountaineers. In the mountains, a heritage of English nonconformists, Scots-Irish Presbyterians, German Pietists, and colonial era Baptist revivalists absorbed plain-folk camp-meeting religion into a sub-regional folk tradition Deborah McCauley and others term “mountain holiness.”[87] At the core of the folk theologies emerging from plain-folk revivalism was a tension between Calvinist notions of a degraded human condition and limited atonement with Wesleyan notions of free will and salvation. McCauley suggests mountain whites appropriated the term “holiness” from northern evangelists as “a fitting description of a long-popular variant of mountain religion’s normative revival religiosity.”[88] Aside from holiness periodicals and word-of-mouth awareness of northern notions of sanctification, the Knoxville meeting was the one significant occasion in the 1870s providing these mountaineers with a direct experience of that imported holiness message.

For another segment of attendees at Knoxville, the Association’s holiness message was a nostalgic echo, one or two generations removed, of when sanctification was a frequent topic in East Tennessee. In his defense of the Association’s East Tennessee revival, John Inskip assured attendees that they would not hear a new theology, but a message of sanctification drawn direct from the theology of John Wesley. Inskip’s standard introductory sermons defining sanctification drew at length on Wesley’s short treatise A Plain Account of Christian Perfection as well as various writings by John William Fletcher.[89] In one of his Knoxville sermons defining sanctification, William McDonald began by leading his audience through a lesson in the history of John Wesley’s argument with the Moravian notion of receiving sanctification at the same time as justification.[90] For attendees, including Richard Nye Price, the Northern evangelists’ emphasis on Wesleyan authenticity and the practical pursuit of holiness echoed a history of clergy in the southern Holston Conference promoting sanctification as a fundamental part of Wesleyan theology. In memorials of the southern Holston Conference as well as in Price’s History of Holston Methodism, such an orientation to sanctification was not uncommon among the conference’s most influential ministers active during the first half of the nineteenth century.[91] The conference memorialized ministers such as John Boring, his brother Washington Boring, and Thomas Catlett for, in part, their ardent preaching and profession of sanctification. In Price’s reflection, Rev. Robertson Gannaway, “believed in the Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification … A holier man I never knew,” while Rev. Rufus Stevens often preached on “the new birth, sanctification … it was a credit to his oratory that he did not seek to be sensational.”[92] At a time when Price’s newspaper, like other Southern church periodicals, attacked sanctification as religious fanaticism, reminiscences about this previous generation of Holston Conference ministers professing an earnest and practical pursuit of sanctification offered a countervailing narrative of sanctification as part of proper antebellum religious practice.

Whether present in earnest pursuit of sanctification, the theological affinity of mountain revivalism, nostalgia for sanctification as part of East Tennessee theological tradition lost since the Civil War, or religious curiosity, the Association’s audience at Knoxville made them reconsider the revival’s standard performances. At previous meetings, preaching from the stand took place in formal morning and evening services and an informal afternoon block of exhortations—each session offered messages presuming their listeners were either active or aspiring advocates of sanctification. Common topics at these sessions explored issues of the moral psychology of the sanctified Christian, practical methods for pursuing sanctification, quelling the personal doubts that dogged a believer’s post-conversion spiritual growth, and the real spiritual power of holiness for renewing the individual, the Church, and the country.[93] Conversely, in Knoxville, the evangelists focused their message on defining sanctification and the relationship of sanctification to conversion and offered practical steps in the pursuit of sanctification as the goal of post-conversion spiritual growth.

Reshaping the Association’s Message

A tolling bell from the preacher’s stand measured time at the camp meeting in Knoxville. The meeting’s schedule of services paced each day between morning prayer meetings, a formal preaching service at the stand, mid-day prayer meetings, an informal afternoon exhortation service at the stand, tea time, more prayer meetings, and a formal evening service of preaching at the stand. At previous national camp meetings, the schedule gave the system of spatial locales on the grounds a temporal rhythm emphasizing didactic moments in the central worship area and intimate social interactions, prayer, and testimony in surrounding tents. In Knoxville, however, services at the stand were not only a venue for the Association’s reshaped message of holiness but also admitted an increasing number of occasions for personal testimonies, professions of conversion, and commitment to pursue sanctification.

Sermons in Knoxville defined a doctrine of holiness, describing steps for holy living and highlighting the individual fruits of the experience of sanctification. On the first Sabbath, John Inskip opened the morning’s formal service at the stand with a sermon on sanctification. Preaching from 2 Thessalonians 2:13, “God that from the beginning chosen you to salvation,” Inskip offered attendees an introduction on his orientation to holiness. Framing Christian perfection as “a perfection of love,” but not perfection from physical illness or the temptation to sin, he claimed such perfect love was the true keeping of the commandment, “to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves … hence he is a perfect Christian who loves God with all his heart.”[94] Positioning this message as the fundamental element of holiness theology was one of the two earliest developments in Inskip’s thinking on Christian perfection, predating his profession of sanctification in 1864. The sermon also bore Inskip’s second core idea on sanctification, the necessity for a clear understanding of holiness as an obtainable fruit of spiritual growth, a pursuit “more a matter of experience and practice, than of theory and discussion.”[95] After setting forth the simplicity of sanctification, Inskip stressed the saving power of grace in a believer’s spiritual growth. The sermon was one of Inskip’s standard messages from his camp meeting repertoire, defining holiness and the practical means of pursuing sanctification. At previous national camp meetings, the sermon was often the only address dedicated to basic aspects of sanctification, but in Knoxville, the sermon’s themes were repeated each day by other ministers.

Recounting the preaching in Knoxville, Rev. W.T. Harlow claimed that “every sermon that was preached, and every prayer that was offered” explored the core aspects of sanctification, casting the doctrine as traditional and “upon the very same platform of doctrine and experience that John Wesley and his coadjutors occupied.”[96] Preaching a sermon on 2 Corinthians 7:1, “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” William McDonald explored the core aspects of sanctification and the steps needed to pursue the experience. He challenged his listeners: “some people seem to hold so fast to the doctrine of spiritual growth that they fear to accept sanctification for fear spiritual growth would then cease.”[97] Rather than labor under a fear of losing what spiritual growth the believer cultivated after justification, sanctification would not be an end of such growth, McDonald argued, but would give the purity of heart needed for a lifetime of spiritual growth. The notion of striving after holiness was also the central theme of a Thursday morning sermon by William Gray. Justified believers, Gray argued, were “like the contestants in ancient athletic sports … [who] lay aside all embarrassing weights and press steadily forward in the race for glory.”[98] As each day’s sermons stressed the pursuit of sanctification as a necessary and practical act for the justified believer, the Association’s standard practice of public testimonies and narratives of deepened personal faith and conversion, usually reserved for experience meetings across the grounds, became a prominent part of the formal services.

In previous meetings, the Association’s less formal afternoon services at the stand allowed for exhortations as well as moments of audience participation demonstrating their commitment to holiness. In Knoxville, formal and informal services promoted audience participation in public professions of conversion and determination to seek sanctification. During their weekday sermons, William McDonald, William Gray, W. T. Harlow, and John Wood each devoted some of their time on the stand to recount their experiences pursuing or receiving sanctification. One evening, Wood preached before a packed central worship area. Touching for a moment on the theme of how justifying grace “impresses the soul with hungerings and thirstings after full salvation,” he devoted most of his time to recounting his pursuit of holiness and the “indescribable sweetness permeating my entire being” upon achieving sanctification.[99] Other preachers turned to inviting their audience to come to the stand for confessions of deepened religious commitment. During the revival’s first Sabbath evening service, Rev. William Osborn of New Jersey ended his sermon before 3,000 attendees with a call to the altar.[100] In a Saturday night service, John Inskip set aside his prepared text and invited participants to come before the stand and share their testimonies. At the revival’s closing afternoon service, Rev. Asbury Lowery of Ohio also ended his sermon with an altar call, causing, as the Daily Post and Herald observed, most of his attendees to surge forward.[101]

Across the grounds, the Association created locals for holding simultaneous prayer meetings of about thirty people each. These gatherings gave participants opportunities for interaction and personal expression not possible at the stand. The meetings were improvisational. After opening remarks from co-leaders, who later directed the singing of hymns, requests for prayer, and personal testimonies, participants could be swept up in a loop of testimonies and affirmations. As the Knoxville Daily Chronicle observed, some of the meetings were for subsets of attendees such as a businessmen’s meeting, a ladies meeting, and multiple children’s meetings.[102] In moments of quasi-public intimacy, the meetings opened the Association’s holiness message to the working out of a mutual discourse through the personal testimonies of facilitators and southern participants. Observing the prayer meetings in Knoxville, the Daily Chronicle described attendees worshiping in “abasement and contrition.”[103] On a Friday evening in the Association’s canvas tabernacle, W. T. Perkins found a large prayer meeting with northern and southern Methodists together, “Colonel Robinson, Brothers Little and Perkins working mightily for the Lord.”[104] On the morning of the revival’s last Sabbath in Knoxville, over 1,000 attendees filled the tabernacle for a love feast. Facilitating the meeting, Rev. Henry Little of New York City invited attendees one-by-one to stand and offer a brief statement about how the revival shaped their faith. Little wove their statements into a collective narrative before giving Amanda Smith the dais for a fifteen-minute exhortation.[105]

Between the central worship area and the experience meeting tents, personal testimony became a prominent feature of the Knoxville revival. The more the Association opened their discourse of holiness to stress personal experience, strains of southern religiosity rushed forward. Altar calls and prayer meetings became stages for the public, and sometimes emotional, display of religious experience. As the role of testimony grew, the revival admitted more public displays of emotion than typical for a national camp meeting—perhaps none more so than John Inskip's last Sabbath service at the stand. That morning, Inskip ended his brief sermon by recounting his long struggle seeking holiness, his sanctification, and how that experience propelled him into evangelism. During the sermon, his audience was “bathed in tears; while shouts went up from every part of the tabernacle.”[106] By the end of his remarks, attendees responded with more weeping and “such shouting [that] was never heard in this section of the country.” Surrounded by such surging, vocal emotions, John F. Spence claimed to “have never witnessed an occasion which reminded us so forcefully of penticost [sic].”[107] Quelling such emotionalism was a driving force behind the formation of the Association’s first national camp meeting, and promoting decorous worship in holiness revivalism had been a central principle behind their revivals. After a week of personal engagement with attendees in prayer meetings, the traveling evangelists of the Association developed a sense of what parts of their revivalist repertoire drew the most engaged and enthusiastic response from their audience. While the evangelists would have quelled such emotional displays of commitment to seek sanctification at their previous revivals, in Knoxville such displays were welcomed. The evangelists also welcomed public displays of religious conversion.

After the Knoxville revival, W.T. Harlow measured the meeting’s success by numerous professions of sanctification, overcoming sectionalism, and “more than one hundred” conversions.[108] While promoting the pursuit of sanctification was the central theme of the Association’s meetings, religious conversions were a standard measurement by which the evangelists declared the success of a revival. Describing the first national camp meetings as great stages for the promotion of holiness, Rev. George Hughes argued that “far from being thrown into the background, the salvation of sinners was vividly in view” and that the Association would “not cease to labor for the conviction and conversion of sinners.”[109] As John Wood argued, conversion and sanctification were “the two grand objects of camp meetings … these two works should go on simultaneously.”[110] In Knoxville, where conversions far outnumbered professions of the pursuit of sanctification, the northern evangelists urged their audience to rethink conversion not as the seminal occasion in their soteriology, but as laying the foundation for the pursuit of sanctification.

During the revival, ministers urged their listeners to seek the justifying grace received at conversion as the first step in sanctification. In a Friday afternoon sermon, William McDonald pointed to the writings of John Wesley to argue for sanctification as a distinctive second working of grace after justification.[111] McDonald claimed that the relationship between conversion and sanctification was one of two moments that were part of the same process of receiving grace. As he argued in a November 1870 article published in the Advocate of Christian Holiness, “to attempt to run the boundary line between regeneration and entire sanctification, and determine accurately where one ends and the other begins, would be much like attempting to define accurately the lines which separate the color of the rainbow … it is utterly impossible to tell where the one color ends and the other begins. They are not separate, and yet they are distinct.”[112] John Wood’s personal testimony echoed McDonald's sentiment, arguing that the distance between conversion and sanctification was short and hastened by the Holy Spirit.[113] Their views were in line with John Inskip's conception of conversion as partial sanctification leading the believer onward to Christian perfection and entire sanctification. Having attendees in Knoxville respond emotionally and enthusiastically to the message of holiness by expressing conversion was no minor success, but a measure of the cultural translation of holiness from North to South.

In Knoxville, the Association assuaged sectionalism, wrestled with the cultural translation of their holiness message into southern religious parlance, and adjusted their message by emphasizing and de-emphasizing aspects of their revivalist repertoire they considered most effective in generating a positive response from attendees. The crucible of sectional suspicions and the foreignness of holiness terminology was a unique opportunity for reshaping the Association’s revivalism. Presenting holiness to a southern audience for the first time enabled an articulation of the holiness message suitable across cultural and regional boundaries.

Conclusion: Knoxville, Nationalization, and the Enigma of Holiness in the Mountain South Before the Late 1880s

The 1872 Knoxville meeting of the National Camp-Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness was the fourteenth camp meeting the Association held in the United States. To the degree to which the Association was one of the most public faces of the Wesleyan holiness movement, the revival was a significant moment in the nationalization of the Association and the larger holiness movement. The reception the Association received in Knoxville, of sectional distrust tempered by nostalgia for antebellum religious normalcy, buffeted the northern evangelists’ first instance of offering their holiness message to an audience that was, to a degree, neither part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, nor another node in the holiness network. Their East Tennessee audience was not entirely unfamiliar with holiness, but brought a variety of perspectives on sanctification pre-dating the war and the message of disparate northern evangelists heading south on the heels of Reconstruction. Engagement with such an audience modulated the Association’s revivalist repertoire. The result of that encounter muted themes of nationalism and focused their message on a discourse of Methodist fraternity and an exposition of the relationship between conversion and sanctification in ways that would help carry the evangelists’ message on repeated trips south.

Knoxville modulated strains of nationalism in the Association’s revivals. If, as Kostlevy claims, at the time of the first National Camp Meeting in Vineland, John Inskip and his fellow holiness ministers were the moral aristocracy of a triumphant Church and re-unified country, the evangelists came to Knoxville as strangers in a strange land seeking only love and hospitality. Such humility supplanted the nationalist themes that framed the Association’s 1871 western tour. Their California revivals stood at one of the farthest margins of the Methodist Episcopal Church as ventures claiming for the holiness movement a geographic contiguity with the church proper, a statement of arrival on the national stage. In Knoxville, the evangelists not only avoided that sense of nationalistic accomplishment but claimed to have neither political motive nor intent to work on behalf of the Methodist Episcopal Church.[114] In Knoxville, Inskip’s party would respect the status quo, even if that state of affairs was one of contested geography between northern and southern conferences. Of their previous national themes, the Association brought to Knoxville only that of the unifying power of holiness, the ability of sanctification to create the heavenly soul recognitions of which J.W. Hill wrote.

The degree to which nostalgia for traditional camp meeting revivalism drew East Tennesseans to the meeting, mitigated local resistance to the Association’s message, and eased their audience’s reception of the holiness message cannot be understated. The traveling evangelists made frequent reference to sanctification in the writings of Wesley, Fletcher, and other early Methodists, and collaborated with local Methodists to create what seemed a traditional, southern camp meeting landscape. They did so at an opportune time in East Tennessee when area Methodists turned with renewed interest to the practice of traditional camp meeting revivalism as one means of recovering a semblance of antebellum normalcy. In this context, the Association’s message of holiness tapped into a long tradition of sanctification preaching in East Tennessee. Although the Association’s instantaneous orientation to holiness was novel, their strategy to emphasize the fraternal dimensions of holiness, offer an uncomplicated theological definition of sanctification, and tie sanctification to conversion, would prove effective in Knoxville.

Over the next fifteen years, the Association would repeat their Knoxville strategy on multiple ventures into the South. In 1873, the Association returned to Knoxville for a revival that drew over 6,000 attendees, but did not seem as grand a spectacle as the preceding year. A single, brief report of the meeting appeared in the Advocate of Christian Holiness, while Rule’s Daily Chronicle covered the meeting with much less detail than in 1872.[115] The Chronicle stressed a continuation of the Association’s discourse of mutual affections, as John Inskip opened the meeting professing to have “fallen in love with the people of this country, and had never in his life enjoyed a meeting more than the one held here last year.”[116] Coming to Knoxville “with a warm heart” and a “fraternal state of mind,” Inskip and the traveling evangelists repeated themes of the preceding meeting.[117] In February 1879, Inskip traveled with his wife Martha to Augusta, Georgia for a holiness revival at St. James's Methodist Episcopal Church South, pastored by Rev. Anderson J. Jarrell.[118] In December 1879, the Inskips returned for a three-month tour of southern churches.[119] The tour included revivals in Richmond, Virginia, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a two-week revival in Augusta, Georgia. Editorials of the Augusta Chronicle praised the Association’s work in St. James, John Inskip’s “wonderful personal magnetism,” and claimed that the Inskips "have won their way to the hearts of all our people."[120] After Augusta, the Inskips traveled to Savannah, Georgia, before ending their tour with a revival at Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church South, in Charleston, South Carolina. The Charleston News and Courier observed that during the services “men, women and children left their pews and flocked around the altar.”[121] Among the Southern ministers working the altar rail was Rev. William Wightman. The southern Methodist bishop described Inskip’s message as one of “the earnestness of life and death; but no asceticism; sanctity but no sanctimoniousness; the clear, unfaltering statement of the grace of God manifested in their own experience, and the report of multitudes of witnesses in various parts of the country … Love, sweetness, genuine beliefs … seemed to be the characteristics of our friends.”[122]

Augusta, Charleston, and Savannah were, as Randall Stephens notes, the southern cities where holiness would see early success over the following decades.[123] In Augusta, in 1883, Anderson Jarrell and Rev. William Dodge established the Georgia Holiness Association and, in 1886, hosted the National Camp Meeting Association’s last meeting held in the South until after the turn of the century.[124] The fate of holiness in Knoxville during that time frame would, however, be an enigma. In 1873, John B. Ford and J. J. Manker hosted holiness sessions at the annual meeting of the Northern Holston Conference.[125] Holiness meetings at First Methodist and Second Presbyterian in Knoxville continued for some years. Rev. A. B. Wright’s experience of sanctification continued to be a theme in his preaching at revivals from Kingston, north to Fentress and Morgan counties. Rev. Nelson Cobleigh, who preached at both of the Association’s Knoxville meetings, maintained ties to the Northern conference’s Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, from which he retired in 1872.[126] Yet, this holiness activity in East Tennessee would not receive the attention of the religious press, suggesting gains in holiness adherence in the region were not substantial enough to be newsworthy. Sharing this assessment, Stephens notes the region witnessed neither the formation of a local holiness newspaper nor the formation of a regional holiness association as elsewhere in the South.[127] Although Stephens’s latter metric is complicated by the likelihood that East Tennesseans would have perpetuated the holiness message by integrating holiness into the religious gatherings of their kin networks rather than bothering with a formal holiness organization, the region experienced a thirteen-year lull in wider public awareness of holiness revivalism.[128] By the mid-1880s, Rev. F. W. Henck’s holiness preaching in Kingston, Knoxville and other towns in East Tennessee would mark the beginning of a late-century shift to growing holiness adherence and the formation of distinct holiness denominations in the state’s southeastern counties.[129]

In the historical narrative of the spread of holiness in the American South, the effect of the 1872 National Camp Meeting at Knoxville, by itself, seems negligible. Within that same narrative, however, the meeting allowed the Association to develop an effective strategy to deliver their holiness message to a Southern audience during repeated ventures in the South. The most direct result of these ventures was to form ties with a cadre of indigenous advocates who would carry the holiness message forward in later decades. The most significant effect of the 1872 Knoxville meeting was, rather, on the Association’s imagined geography of the holiness movement. The meeting suggested that holiness, if grounded in traditionalism, appeals to Wesleyan fraternity, and the Methodistic authenticity of sanctification as expressed in the writings of Wesley, could transcend politics and sectionalism. The Association's Knoxville formula would carry the Association’s message across the country and the world.


[1] John F. Spence, “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), August 31, 1872.

[2] The American Wesleyan holiness movement was a much larger phenomenon than one holiness organization, and the Association considered their revivals to be on behalf of the movement at large. They had substantial ties to Nathan Bangs, Phoebe Palmer, and other leaders in the movement, who, in both the religious and secular press, were the most visible national faces of the movement. Given the degree to which newspapers and periodicals were the sinews of the holiness movement’s imagined community, reports of the grand public occasions of national camp meetings would suggest to holiness readers the national, and later global, extent of their holiness network.

[3] Among historians of religion in the American South, the Knoxville meeting seems to be a known event. However, while there is a sizable body of literature exploring the history of the Wesleyan holiness movement in the United States, especially holiness in the American South, the meeting is discussed only twice in books published over the past thirty years.

[4] Melvin Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 1996), 104.

[5] Randall Stephens, The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 18.

[6] See Kenneth Brown, Inskip, McDonald, Fowler: “Wholly and Forever Thine” (Hazelton, PA: Holiness Archives, 1999).

[7] For general studies of the nineteenth century holiness movement, see Melvin Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 1996); Charles E. Jones, Perfectionist Persuasion: The Holiness Movement and American Methodism, 1867-1936 (Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1974). For Wesley’s theology, see Charles Yrigoyen, John Wesley: Holiness of Heart and Life (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010); Kenneth Collins, The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007); Robert Tuttle, Mysticism in the Wesleyan Tradition (Grand Rapids, MI: Francis Asbury Press, 1989).

[8] See Nathan Bangs, The Necessity, Nature, and Fruits of Sanctification (New York: Lane and Scott, 1851); Journals of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1848–1856 (New York: Lane and Scott, 1848-1856), 160. For discussion of the more prominent debates, see Dieter, The Holiness Revival, 22–40.

[9] Samuel Avery-Quinn, “In the Wild Dark Pines: Crisis, Legitimacy, and the Origins of the National Camp-Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness,” Methodist History 52 (2013): 43–57.

[10] Dieter, 79–81; Brown, 78; Journal of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held in Philadelphia, PA., 1864 (New York: Carlton and Porter, 1864), 436.

[11] Jesse Truesdel Peck, The History of the Great Republic: Considered from a Christian Stand-Point (New York: Broughton and Wyman, 1868), 693–694.

[12] Gilbert Haven, National Sermons (Boston, MA: Lee and Shepard, 1869), 352–354, 358–359.

[13] William Kostlevy, “Christian Perfection in Pennsylvania Dutch Country: The 1868 Manheim Camp meeting of the National Holiness Association,” The Chronicle: Journal of the Historical Society of the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church 9 (1997): 25–35.

[14] See George Hughes, “The Pentecost at Manheim, No. I,” Guide to Holiness, September 1868; George Hughes, “The New Battleground – Round Lake,” Guide to Holiness, June 1869.

[15] J.W. Hill, “Holiness a Unifier,” The Advocate of Christian Holiness, September 1875.

[16] See Charles White, The Beauty of Holiness (Grand Rapids, MI: Francis Asbury Press, 1986); George Hughes, Fragrant Memories of the Tuesday Meeting and the Guide to Holiness, and Their Fifty Years’ Work for Jesus (New York: Palmer and Hughes, 1886).

[17] See: Troy Messenger, Holy Leisure (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1999); Arthur Weise, History of Round Lake, Saratoga County, N.Y. (New York: Douglas Taylor, 1887).

[18] For a list of national camp meetings through 1883, see William McDonald and James Searles, ‘I am, O Lord, Wholly and Forever Thine”: The Life of Rev. John S. Inskip, President of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness (Boston, MA: McDonald and Gill, 1885), 198.

[19] “Remember the Western Tour!,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, June 1871.

[20] “Letter from the Editor, Rev. W. McDonald. The Work in California,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, June 1871; “Letter from the Editor – No. 1. Holiness in California,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, July 1871.

[21] “Western Evangelistic Tour. Letter from Brother Inskip. A Month at Conference,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, June 1871.

[22] Ibid.

[23] “Western Evangelistic Tour,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, May 1871.

[24] “Annual meeting of the National Association,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, December 1871.

[25] “Camp-Meeting South,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, August 1871.

[26] “From Norfolk to Knoxville,” Richmond Whig, August 29, 1871. Wheeler’s Knoxville, Tennessee also quotes this article, but sources the quote to Robert Corlew’s Tennessee: A Short History, 2nd ed. (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1990), 365, however Corlew does not specify his source. Knoxville’s early capture by the United States army may have shielded the town from much of the economic devastation of rural East Tennessee. See Robert McKenzie, “‘Oh! Ours is a Deplorable Condition’: The Economic Impact of the Civil War in Upper East Tennessee,” in The Civil War in Appalachia: Collected Essays, eds. Kenneth Noe and Shannon Wilson (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1997), 199–226.

[27] John B. Ford, “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), July 16, 1872.

[28] “Local Miscellany,” Knoxville Daily Chronicle, September 18, 1872; “Personal,” Knoxville Daily Chronicle, September 19, 1872. The tents, conical fans of canvas suspended from an iron ring collar held up by a single 12-foot center pole, were the property of the Sea Cliff Grove Camp Meeting Association on Long Island, New York and were loaned to the Association for the Knoxville meeting. See “Camp Meeting South,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, August 1872.

[29] “The Camp Meeting,” Daily Press and Herald (Knoxville, TN), September 22, 1872.

[30] W.T. Harlow, “Fourteenth National Camp-Meeting,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, November 1872.

[31] See “Knoxville & Ohio Railroad: National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 22, 1872.

[32] “The Camp Meeting,” Daily Press and Herald (Knoxville, TN), September 22, 1872.

[33] “Religion in Camp,” Daily Press and Herald (Knoxville, TN), September 25, 1872.

[34] “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 29, 1872.

[35] John F. Spence, “National Camp Meeting,” 3.

[36] “Camp-Meeting,” Athens Post (Athens, TN), September 10, 1869.

[37] “Jonesboro District, Holston Conference,” Herald and Tribune (Jonesborough, TN), August 24, 1871.

[38] “Upper East Tennessee Items,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), August 30, 1871.

[39] A.B. Wright, Autobiography of the Rev. A.B. Wright, of the Holston Conference, M.E. Church (Cincinnati, OH: Cranston and Curts, 1896), 195.

[40] “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), July 16, 1872.

[41] “The National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 21, 1872.

[42] My description of the camp meeting grounds is based on my archaeological fieldwork on the grounds in the Inskip neighborhood of Knoxville, as well as archival sources. See “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 22, 1872; “The Camp Meeting,” Daily Press and Herald (Knoxville, TN), September 22, 1872; “Worship in the Grove,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 25, 1872; “Eighteenth National Camp Meeting,” Weekly Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 18, 1873.

[43] The most striking example of the Association’s traditionalist landscape was their 1868 second National Camp Meeting in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Rev. Barlow Weed Gorham, author of a popular mid-century prescriptive guidebook seeking to return Methodist revivalism to the landscapes and liturgical practices common during the Second Great Awakening, designed the grounds to evoke early nineteenth century revivals complete with an elevated preacher’s platform, wooden plank benches, and surrounding fireboxes. See “The National Camp Meeting,” Columbia Spy, July 19, 1868; “The National Camp Meeting,” Daily Express (Lancaster, PA), July 15, 1868; Barlow W. Gorham, Camp Meeting Manual, A Practical Book for the Camp Ground (Boston, MA: H.V. Degen, 1854).

[44] See Claudia Deviney, From Spirit to Structure, M.A. Thesis, University of Georgia, 2002.

[45] “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 14, 1872.

[46] “Worship in the Grove,” Weekly Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), October 2, 1872.

[47] “The Methodist Advocate,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, November 1872.

[48] Daniel Stowell, Rebuilding Zion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 108. See also Ralph Morrow, Northern Methodism and Reconstruction (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 1956).

[49] See Dunn, The Civil War in Southern Appalachian Methodism, 94-99; Isaac P. Martin, Methodism in Holston (Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1945), 72–89; Richard Nye Price, Holston Methodism, Vol. IV (Nashville, TN: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1912), 296–441.

[50] For establishment of Holston Conference see Thomas Pearne, Sixty-One Years of Itinerant Christian Life in Church and State (Cincinnati, OH: Curtis & Jennings, 1898), 315–323; Dunn, The Civil War in Southern Appalachian Methodism, 119–123.

[51] In the fall of 1860 the Holston Conference of the MECS reported 41,317 members. By the fall of 1866 the conference reported a total membership of 24,098. See Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 37th Session, Asheville, NC, October 1860; Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, 43rd Session, Asheville, NC, October 1866.

[52] Minutes of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1865, Holston Conference Archives, Emory, Virginia; Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the Year 1872 (Knoxville, 1872).

[53] See Journal of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Held in Chicago, Ill., 1868, (New York: Carlton and Lanahan, 1868), 633; Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the Year 1869, (Knoxville, TN: Brownlow, Haws, and Co., 1869); “Church Property,” The Holston Methodist, March 22, 1873.

[54] For Southern complaints on the property dispute, see “Fraternization,” Holston Methodist, March 29, 1873, and Parrott, “Church Property,” Holston Methodist, March 22, 1873. For a Northern account of the dispute, see Nelson Cobleigh, “Church Property Questions in the South,” Methodist Quarterly Review, October (1871): 614-641. For the response of the General Conference of the MEC to the property appeal of the Holston Conference of the MECS see Journal of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Held in Chicago, Ill., 1868 (New York: Carlton and Lanahan, 1868), 632-633. Although copies of Temple’s judgment against the congregation of First Methodist Episcopal Church is missing, records of the filing of the Southern church’s lawsuit are available in the Knox County, Tennessee archives. See Knox County Chancellery Court Docket # 1831, R.D. Jourolman et al. vs. Thomas H. Pearne et al., Filed July 13, 1867, Knoxville, Tenn., Knox County Archives.

[55] Parrott, “Church Property,” 4.

[56] See “Fraternal Progress,” Holston Methodist, April 12, 1873.

[57] “The Southern Tour,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, October 1872.

[58] Richard Nye Price, “National Camp Meeting,” Holston Methodist, September 27, 1873.

[59] Ibid. Despite describing himself as “about the lovingest man in all this country,” Price was a controversial figure. Following the 1873 meeting, some in the community read Price’s editorial on Inskip and Smith as striking a back-handed compliment. See “Fraternal Progress,” Holston Methodist, April 12, 1873; “We copy a few extracts…” Weekly Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), October 1, 1873.

[60] Harlow, “Fourteenth National Camp-Meeting,” 108

[61] “The National Camp Meeting,” Indianapolis Sentinel, September 27, 1873.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Twelve years after the meeting, William McDonald recalled “a large number of ministers and church members were wholly sanctified” in McDonald and Searles, The Life of the Rev. John S. Inskip, 285. While both Harlow and McDonald’s accounts of the meeting tallied over one hundred professions of conversion, both accounts leave some ambiguity over sanctifications. If those who professed sanctification had such an experience before or during the meeting, or if their professions were couched in language of seeking sanctification rather than already being sanctified, is uncertain.

[64] McDonald and Searles, 285.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Amanda Smith, An Autobiography: the story of the Lord’s dealings with Mrs. Amanda Smith, the colored evangelist (Chicago: Meyer, 1893), 209.

[67] Smith, An Autobiography, 209.

[68] See “The Sanctification Fanaticism,” Holston Methodist, September 5, 1873.

[69] Lovick Pierce, A Miscellaneous Essay on Entire Sanctification (Nashville, TN: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, 1892). See also Stephens, The Fire Spreads, 22-38, and Briane Turley, A Wheel Within a Wheel: Southern Methodism and the Georgia Holiness Association (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1999), 70–76.

[70] For the influences of the Awakening, see Ellen Elsinger, Citizens of Zion (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1999); John Boles, The Great Revival, 1787–1805 (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1996). For southern folk religion, see Christine Heyrman, Southern Cross (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1997); Donald Mathews, Religion in the Old South (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977); Samuel Hill, Jr., Southern Churches in Crisis (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1967).

[71] See Donald Mathews, “Introduction,” in Religion in the American South: Protestants and Others in History and Culture, ed. Donald Mathews (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 1–4; Donald Mathews, Religion in the Old South (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977), 1-35.

[72] For explorations of Calvinist strains in southern religion see Samuel S. Hill, Southern Churches in Crisis Revisited (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1999); Wayne Flynt, “One in the Spirit, Many in the Flesh: Southern Evangelicals,” in Varieties of Southern Evangelicalism, ed. David Harrell, Jr. (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1981), 23–44.

[73] Annual Report of the Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Cincinnati: Methodist Book Concern, 1868), 34.

[74] Elwood H. Stokes, Ocean Grove, Its Origins and Progress (Philadelphia: Haddock and Son, 1874), 47–49; “The South,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, June 1873.

[75] See William Baker, “My Own Experience,” The Way of Holiness, February 1876. Discussions of Baker’s work can be found in John L. Brasher, The Sanctified South: John Lankin Brasher and the Holiness Movement (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 35; Stephens, The Fire Spreads, 43–45.

[76] Stephens, The Fire Spreads, 54–55.

[77] “Christian Perfection in the Pulpit,” Nashville Christian Advocate, November 11, 1858.

[78] John H. Boyd, “The Usefulness of the Sanctified,” Nashville Christian Advocate, August 11, 1859.

[79] R.A. Wilson, “We Must Preach Holiness,” Nashville Christian Advocate, October 6, 1859.

[80] “Itinerant,” “Entire Sanctification,” Nashville Christian Advocate, August 9, 1860.

[81] Wright, Autobiography, 365–366.

[82] Wright, 369–370.

[83] Wright, 369.

[84] Harlow, “Fourteenth National Camp-Meeting,” 190.

[85] “In the Holston Conference,” The Advocate of Christian Holiness, November 1872; “Religious,” The Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 18, 1872.

[86] Smith, An Autobiography, 211–214.

[87] See Deborah McCauley, Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995); Deborah McCauley, “Mountain Holiness,” in Christianity in Appalachia: Profiles in Regional Pluralism, ed. Bill Leonard (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999), 103-116; Loyal Jones, Faith and Meaning in the Southern Uplands (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999).

[88] McCauley, “Mountain Holiness,” 113.

[89] John Wesley, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, as Believed and Taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, From the Year 1725, to the Year 1777 (London: R. Haws, 1777).

[90] “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 28, 1872.

[91] Journal of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, [microfilm] Holston Conference Archives, Emory, Virginia.

[92] Richard Nye Price, Holston Methodism, Volume IV, From the Year 1844 to the Year 1870 (Nashville: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1913), 255, 378.

[93] For some previous sermons preached at the Association’s meetings, see McLean and Eaton, Penuel; or, Face to Face with God (New York: W.C. Palmer, Jr., 1869); George Hughes, Days of Power in the Forest Temple: A Review of the Wonderful Work of God at Fourteen National Camp-Meetings, from 1867 to 1872 (Salem, OH: The Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection, 1975 [1873]).

[94] For discussion of the structure of Inskip’s standard introduction to sanctification sermon, see “Can God Work Perfect Love in My Heart at Once?” Advocate of Christian Holiness, February 1872.

[95] John Inskip, “Entire Sanctification. Address of Rev. J. S. Inskip Before the New York Preachers’ Meeting,” New York Christian Advocate, March 14, 1864. See also, John Inskip, Methodism Explained and Defended (Cincinnati: H.S. and J. Applegate, 1851), 61.

[96] Harlow, “Fourteenth National Camp-Meeting,” 189.

[97] “National Camp Meeting – Afternoon Services,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 28, 1872.

[98] “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 27, 1872.

[99] See John Wood, Perfect Love, or, Plain Things for Those Who Need Them (North Attleboro, MA: Published by the Author, 1884 [1861]), 321; John Wood, “Have but Little Feeling on the Subject,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, July 1870.

[100] “Religion in Camp,” Daily Press and Herald (Knoxville, TN), September 24, 1872.

[101] “National Camp Meeting,” Indianapolis Sentinel, September 27, 1872.

[102] “Worship in the Grove,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 25, 1872.

[103] “National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 22, 1872.

[104] “The National Camp Meeting,” Indianapolis Sentinel, September 27, 1872.

[105] Smith, An Autobiography, 210.

[106] “National Camp Meeting,” Indianapolis Sentinel, September 27, 1872.

[107] John F. Spence, “The National Camp Meeting,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), October 1, 1872.

[108] Harlow, “Fourteenth National Camp Meeting,” 209.

[109] Hughes, Days of Power, 55, 61.

[110] John Wood, Perfect Love, 248–249.

[111] “National Camp Meeting – Afternoon Services,” Daily Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 28, 1872.

[112] William McDonald, “Regeneration and Entire Sanctification,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, November 1870.

[113] Wood, Perfect Love, 49–50.

[114] The degree to which ministers of the northern Holston Conference helped plan and promote the meeting seems to belie the Association’s denials of partisanship. At the close of the 1872 meeting, these local ministers purchased the Grassy Valley grove for use as a conference campground. See Warranty Deed of Dorothela and Margaret Crozier to Marcus D. Bearden et al, December 10, 1872, Book K3, 431, Knox County Archives, Knoxville, TN.

[115] George Hughes, “Eighteenth National Camp-Meeting, Knoxville, Tenn.,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, November, 1873.

[116] “Eighteenth National Camp Meeting,” Weekly Chronicle (Knoxville, TN), September 18, 1873.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Turley, Wheel Within a Wheel, 90.

[119] McDonald and Searles, The Life of John S. Inskip, 307.

[120] “The Revival at St. James’,” Augusta Chronicle, March 9, 1879; “The Methodists,” Augusta Chronicle, March 18, 1879

[121] “Holiness Meeting,” Charleston News and Courier, February 28, 1880.

[122] “Bishop Wightman’s Judgment of the Holiness Meeting in Charleston, S.C.,” Advocate of Christian Holiness, May 1880.

[123] Stephens, The Fire Spreads, 67.

[124] See Kenneth O. Brown, “Dodge, William Asbury,” in The A to Z of the Holiness Movement, ed. William Kostlevy (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2009), 95–97; Turley, Wheel Within a Wheel, 89–104, for the founding of the Georgia Holiness Association; Turley, Wheel Within a Wheel, 106–109; Brasher, The Sanctified South, 34–35 for the 1886 Augusta National Camp Meeting. The Association would not hold another National Camp Meeting in the South until a meeting in Denton, Texas in 1899. See Jones, Perfectionist Persuasion, 184–187.

[125] Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the Year 1873 (Knoxville, TN: Brownlow, Haws, and Co., 1873).

[126] See Genevieve Wiggins and Bill Akins, Keeping the Faith: A History of Tennessee Wesleyan College, 1857–2007 (Athens, TN: Tennessee Wesleyan College, 2007).

[127] Stephens, The Fire Spreads, 54.

[128] One could argue that the lull was due, in part, to the lack of a stable body of holiness leadership in East Tennessee, the dispersion of holiness advocates separated by the distances between Athens, Kingston, and Knoxville, as well as the distraction of the conflict between conferences.

[129] See Stephens, The Fire Spreads, 54; John Keen, Memoir of F.W. Henck with notes and comments (Highway, KY: Bible Advocate, 1899); For the emergence of regional holiness associations across the South see Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States, 1st ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1971), 39–49; in East Tennessee, see Mickey Crews, The Church of God: A Social History (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1990); Roger Robins, A.J. Tomlinson: Plainfolk Modernist (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).