Georgetown backdrop

Charleston, West Virginia

West Virginia is steeped in religious traditions that are ancient and dearly cradled, like the Appalachian Mountains in which the state is nestled. Many West Virginians have an especially intimate relationship with Christianity, and this relationship is vividly present in the state’s folklore, its art and music, and in the old-time-religion note often struck in Mountaineer politics. In 2016 the American Pilgrimage recorded 18 conversations at West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston, after inviting people from across the state to take part. Over three days, we heard stories from a broad range of religious traditions—Baha'i, Unitarian Universalism, Wicca, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses—as well as stories of lives shaped by Christianity in one form or another. Many thanks to our hosts and to all who took part in the conversations.

West Virginia Church Garden


Paul Elie headshot

Paul Elie

Senior Fellow


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