The Baptist Church often springs to mind as one of the most readily identifiable forms of Christian worship associated with Appalachia. Claude Howard Dorgan (1932-2012), a professor of Communications at Appalachian State University, devoted much time and research to understanding the history and culture surrounding the Baptist faith as practiced by a wide array of denominations including the Old Regular Baptists, Missionary Baptists, Freewill Baptists, and Primitive Baptists. During his research Dorgan recorded ministers and elders preaching, congregations singing, copied the minutes of church meetings, and collected materials significant to the histories of both the Baptist style of worship and individual churches. Churches visited by Dorgan were primarily rural congregations from across the Appalachian region meeting at such places as Ash Camp, Little Martha, Bent Branch, Tivis Chapel, Little River, Mount Union, Upper Mayo, Point Truth, Little Dove, and Shabby Run. Dorgan used this research to construct his works on mountain religion including: Giving Glory to God in Appalachia (1987), The Old Regular Baptist in Central Appalachia (1989), The Airwaves of Zion (1993), and In the Hands of a Happy God (1997).
AC.116: C. Howard Dorgan Papers include primary sources- from copies of centuries-old church ledgers to recordings of sermons and revivals- that offer windows into the lives of particular congregations as well as provide information on the larger stories of the varied sects of Baptists who worship across the Appalachian region.