January 8, 2014

COMMENTARY: War on Poverty anniversary recalls religion’s role in Appalachia

Print More
(1970) Freeda Harris, a legend around Hellier, Ky. for her Bible school classes and spiritual guidance to people in this Appalachian hill country, visits a mountain home and talks with teenagers involved in work at the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board's mission center. Harris became an ever-present angel whose life has redeemed others from sadness, despair over broken homes and the pangs of hunger and lonliness. Religion News Service file photo by Don Rutledge

(1970) Freeda Harris, a legend around Hellier, Ky. for her Bible school classes and spiritual guidance to people in this Appalachian hill country, visits a mountain home and talks with teenagers involved in work at the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board's mission center. Harris became an ever-present angel whose life has redeemed others from sadness, despair over broken homes and the pangs of hunger and lonliness. Religion News Service file photo by Don Rutledge

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

HOT SPRINGS, N.C. (RNS) On the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, it is worth recalling that Appalachia was a magnet for missionaries, both religious and secular. They failed, in part, because they did not respect the strong beliefs and culture of the region.