Though conversion was a solitary experience that occurred within each individual’s heart, evangelicals were strongly devoted to the accomplishment of “good works” within their religious communities.
One of the most emblematic practices was the camp meeting revival.
Unsurprisingly, it proved especially appealing to the middling- and lower-class people of North Carolina’s backcountry.
This movement, which by the Civil War era would be nearly synonymous with southern religion, made its first inroads in the colony of North Carolina during the early eighteenth century.
By the early 1800s, the Second Great Awakening was in full swing: revivals were again widespread, and conversions occurred at a rapid pace.
Methodists, for example, nearly doubled their membership between 17.
Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.
The evangelical conviction—that each man and woman required a personal conversion in Christ—had a socially leveling effect on believers.