The Kentucky or Cane Ridge Revival

As we look at Christianity in America you have to consider how powerful camp meetings have been. In the Redemption Times they spoke of a powerful camp meeting that started the American camp meeting.

“it was not unusual for seven preachers to be addressing the listening thousands at the same time. The heavenly fire spread in all directions. One thousand people praising God at one time could be heard for miles. From this camp meeting news spread through all the land- it kindled a flame that spread to many states. It was the first camp meeting ever held, and here our camp meeting U.S.A. took their rise.”1 Another writer wrote, “Cane Ridge has a special, epochal position in American Religious history.”2 It was here in the Western Frontier that thousands would gather to celebrate communion. Many denominations would gather, and they would experience the fire of heaven. “Never before had such a diversity of seizures or ‘physical exercises’ affected, or afflicted, so many people.”3

This event would change America and out of it we saw a shift. Previous moves of God focused on the North East, but now we started to see God move in the “Frontier” or land over the Appalachian Mountains. James Richard Rogers said, “The story of a birthplace of a faith had its conception and realization here at Cane Ridge.”4 As we look how America would rise up as the voice for the Gospel in the late nineteenth and twentieth century, we need to understand Cane Ridge.

The Seeds of the Revival

The Cane Ridge Revival has it roots in the Ulster and Scottish Revivals on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is not surprising that many people who played a key role in the revival and the revivals in the Frontier came from either Ulster or Scotland.  The Six Mile River Revival in Ulster came after the devastation of Ulster by war and then the plantation by King James. Criminals fleeing justice from England and Scotland came to Northern Ireland. There they sought to flee not just the law but God as well. However, the prayers of several ministers so disturbed by what they saw a revival break forth. It came with mighty manifestations as the people were struck down by the power of God. It changed the whole climate of Northern Ireland, with so many coming to know the Lord.

However, concerns over the manifestations or “enthusiasm” as reports “of people fainting like dead,” and then having to be carried out of the meeting caused many ministers to have to flee back to Scotland.5 Soon revivals were occurring in Scotland with the most significant one at Shotts in 1630. 6

The revivals and the manifestations centered around communion services. While the first Great Awakening was occurring in the American Colonies there was also a great revival occurring among the Presbyterians in Scotland. This revival once again centered around the communion service and it occurred in Cambuslang. It peaked in 1741 during a visit from George Whitefield.  He had just returned from holding revivals in the American colonies and came and preached ten sermons at Cambuslang.

At this revival “Almost every conceivable physical exercise, including falling in a swoon, afflicted some participants.”7 The ministers sought to gain control but the people claimed they could not control what was happening. The pastor, M’Culloch decided to investigate the manifestations and show they truly were of God. He wrote up a questionnaire and gave it to the people. Nine years later began interviewing the people and reporting the long-term fruit. This survey and the results which were recorded in several volumes played a major role in the Cane Ridge Revival. 8

The Frontier and the Western Territories

Following the War of Independence more people started to move west into the Alleghany and Ohio river Valleys. By 1800, there was around one million inhabitants. Many of these new settlers were Irish and Scottish. 9 Rogers identified the emigrants as “from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Germany.”10 There were three main highways heading west that meet at Pittsburgh. 11 After the Revolutionary War, many of the soldiers settled in Kentucky.

“To the European traveler accustomed to the refinements and luxuries of a settled region and the difference paid to birth in the Old World, there was a crudeness about the western life with its rude furnishings, its lack of social distinctions, its frankness and independence, that often called for criticism”12

By 1800, Pittsburgh had grown to have “1, 565” inhabitants. 13 To give  a picture of life in the western territories at that time one person wrote… “though great changes had taken place since the pioneer with his gun first penetrated the wilderness, the country was still but sparsely settled, and it was only here and there that the rude log cabin had given way to the frame house, though it is to be noted that the logs of the pioneer cabin were now more carefully hewn and more neatly plastered that was the case at first.”14 The pioneers lives revolved around simply trying to exist. At the same time these pioneers did place great importance on education. However, pioneer life was often lonely and there was a great desire for companionship.15

“All denominations represented in the West labored under certain disadvantages. It was impossible to supply the demand for ministers, and the church ordinances could not be administered regularly. There were few meeting-houses, even by the end of the eighteenth century.”16 People were focused on surviving and the few meeting-houses were crude and built similar to log cabins. “Services were often held in the open air, in some well-shaded grove, or in one or more commodious cabin.”17 Life for a minister was very hard and required a brave determination and vision. “The most indefatigable of the missionaries was the Methodist itinerant. Daunted by no hardship, these strong young men, full of zeal for the salvation of souls traveled their assigned districts year in and year out, devoting themselves wholly to propagating the Gospel.”18

In many homes the difficult life of a pioneer resulted in no interest in God. These people sought better land to call home and saw no interest in seeking God based on the writings of Bishop Asbury. 19 The people live in a generation where God had become irrelevant. At the same time the settlers faced fear of Indian aggression and failure. People had one focus, living.

There was a clear spiritual decline that began to disturb religious leaders. In 1796 this disturbance caused the Presbyterian church officials to call for prayer and fasting. Many congregations recognizing the spiritual climate wrote up covenants to pray for revival. 20 Bishop Asbury was a Methodist minister ordained by John Wesley. He came to America and remained after the Revolutionary War. In 1784, Asbury along with Thomas Coke was name by Wesley as co-superintendents on the work in America. Listen to these words from his journal…

“February 27, we observed as a general fast. I was weak in body and afflicted with a headache; yet I met the people in the church, and read Joel ii, 12-18; I wept before the Lord. I fasted from two o’clock on Thursday until half-past five on Thursday. I wish we could have solemn monthly fasts, and love-feasts before sacrament. I hope the Lord will look upon us generally throughout the continent, and take away our reproach.”

Mr. Wesley lived to see two general revivals of religion- one at the beginning, the other about thirty-six years ago; though, doubtless, they had generally a gradual growth of religion. We have had two revivals- one at the beginning, the other about seven years ago. The third revival has now taken place in England, and I hope ours will soon follow.”21

 A Cry for Revival

There was a rapid increase in population in the western states that brought for great advantages but like all growth, disadvantages as well. In the churches heated debates and great controversies arose over points of doctrine. Many claimed to be Christian but had worldly views and opinions. The missionaries that came “labored diligently to preach the Gospel, to awaken the people to the sinfulness of careless indifference to their own spiritual welfare and that of their neighbor. “22 The people could not see any reality to the Gospel. Religion was dead and offered them nothing of value, but perhaps some social interaction. The rise in humanism and rationalism they felt had liberated them such old beliefs. But a darkness covered the land and people lay in bondage.

 At the same time many of the immigrants had come from churches and regions that had been greatly shaken by revival and were eager to see a fresh revival. Parents would have witnessed the former glory were broken by the youth that knew not the glory of the Lord.

They understood that a Christian was one who had experienced in a clear manner salvation. Conversion was a serious and important event. The preachers that came therefore sought at great pain to make clear and to explain fully salvation in the Name of Jesus. Prayer meetings were organized in the hope of a new revival.

How Will They Hear

The Lord was clearly stirring the hearts of leaders and that is where it must start. They must recognize the true spiritual climate and then lay hold of through the Word the desire of and heart of the Father. Then they must through prayer, fasting and preaching call forth on the earth the will of Heaven and the Father. Some of the key leaders that arose and helped birth the Kentucky Revival include:

James M’Gready

He was born in Pennsylvania in 1760 (though some place it at 1758 and1763). He was a minister in the Presbyterian Church. M’Gready parents were from Northern Ireland and Scotland. He lived a life dedicated to the Lord being committed to prayer and never drinking or breaking the Sabbath.23 He was taken at an early age by his uncle to be educated by one of the top Presbyterian ministers. He was licensed on August 13th, 1788 in Redstone. During his early minister in North Carolina it was written on him, “being instrumental of a revival of religion…he was honored of God to be the first agent that moved successfully in breaking up the deep sleep that weighed down the Christian public; and was personally active in the commencement of the revival which began in 1800, in Kentucky, and soon was felt in Tennessee, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.”24

He would write “An Appeal to the Young.” In it he called the young to live for Christ. In it you see the passion, “When you enjoy one offer of mercy, men or angels cannot assure you that you will have another. Oh then how dangerous to delay! How fatal to risk to put off the work of your soul one hour or one minute. Oh be entreated then to comply with the most reasonable command (if possible) in the whole book of God, viz: ‘To remember thy creator in the days of thy youth.’”25

He would be ordained and began pastoring at Stony Creek and Haw River in Orange County, North Carolina. His passionate preaching always caused excitement. He was a man burdened for souls and saw only one thing, fulfilling the call of heaven and winning souls. His zeal, however brought with it persecution. He was accused of “running people distracted” so they failed to focus on their ordinary lives.26 Finally they burnt his pulpit and left him a message in blood that threatened physical violence if he did not stop preaching what he was preaching. So M’Geady, who was now married felt the call to move West. In 1796, he settled in Logan County and pastored the three churches of Gasper River, Muddy River and Red River in Kentucky. M’Geady drew up a covenant, In it they committed to prayer and fasting every third Saturday of the month. The purpose of the day of prayer and fasting, to see souls won for Jesus through an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 27

1797 saw a growing interest in revival but was followed in 1798 with a general deadness. But that was soon to change. In July 1797, sacramental meetings were held in Gasper River and then in September at the other two congregations. Awakening was beginning.

M’Gready would prove to be the catalyst of the revival.

John Blair Smith

He was also of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father, a minister, came from Ulster, Northern Ireland. He had been converted by George Whitefield. He studied at the Samuel Blair Academy at Pecua Pennsylvania. Then at a thoroughly Irish congregation, he opened own academy where he taught David Caldwell, and his son, John Blair Smith. 28 He would go on to study under John Witherspoon before going to Princeton. At Princeton before the Revolution, John was part of a student revival.

In 1775, he assisted his brother at a new academy that became the Hayden-Sydney in Farmville, Virginia. He was ordained in 1779. As he looked at his students, he realized how few were on fire for God and felt burden to form a prayer society or circle committed to seeing revival. By the summer of 1787, pray bore fruit as the members of the prayer societies became revived. The students who went home for the summer discovered these awakened congregations. In the Fall a revival would sweep the students. By the summer of 1788, all most all of the Presbyterians in southern Virginia were being stirred. The Hampden-Sydney revivals were getting the interest of more people throughout Virginia. 29 John Blair Smith soon became known as the father of a great revival that spanned 1787-90. All those who played a role in the Cane Ridge Revival had some association with the revival of John B. Smith. The nineties would be a season of drought spiritually.30

David Caldwell 1725-1824

David Caldwell was one of the most influential Presbyterian ministers in North Carolina and once again he was of Ulster ancestry. He was born in 1725 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. He attended the Presbyterian academy at Pecua. After graduating in 1761, he began the process of obtaining a license and then ordination. In 1765 he moved to North Carolina where he joined several Ulster people that had formed a community that would become Guilford County. He would finally accept an invitation to pastor the Hanover Presbytery. Caldwell not alone did he preach he also was a farmer, teacher and medical doctor.31

In 1767, Caldwell started an academy which would gain as much fame as the William Tennet Log College (Tennet was also from Ulster). Barton Stone who was a major player in the revival would attend Caldwell’s academy.32  M’Gready would also frequently visited the Caldwell academy as well. 33

John and William McGee

In 1796, William McGee a fellow student of M’Gready and then in 1798,  John McGee , his brother came to the Kentucky-Tennessee border.  William was a Presbyterian and John a Methodist minister. The fact the two ministers of two different denominations that were antagonistic towards each other, occupied the same pulpit, caused a stir and was a major attraction.

Barton W. Stone 1772-1844

He was born in Maryland but got his Presbytery credentials from North Carolina. In 1796, at the age of twenty-five he visited Cane Ridge before he went to Finley Ohio. In 1798, he was invited to Lexington. 34. When Stone was first ordained by the Orange Presbytery of North Carolina in 1796, instead of being handed the Confession of Faith, he placed his had on the Bible and was told, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Stone’s ministry would seek to abide by the codes of the Word over the codes of men.35

William and John McGee would become major promoters of the revival. Their preaching which would gain great favor was “marked by a fervid, impressive manner of preaching. Of one of these, Rev. William McGee, it is related that he would sometimes exhort after the sermon, standing on the floor, or sitting, or lying in the dust, his eyes streaming, and his heart so full that he could only ejaculate Jesus, Jesus.”36

The Beginning of the Revival

M’Gready, like the McGee’s as a passionate preacher. It was written of him, “he would so array hell before the wicked that they would tremble and quake, imaging a lake of fire and brimstone yawning to overwhelm them and the hand of the Almighty thrusting them down the horrible abyss.”37

When he arrived in Kentucky in 1796, he began to prepare his people for a revival. His ministry sought to stress an experiential religion. He wanted the people to know and experience a real Jesus and so eh called them to a day of prayer and fasting once a month. He also began the Scottish four-day communion service. As he was pastoring three communities, he would time the communion service so the small congregation could travel to each one by horse. The people would come and break from their normal routines to spend all day, night seeking the Lord. This helped to create an environment for revival.

By the spring of 1797, M’Gready began to see an awakening. In 1798, a great revival began. In the same year, John Rankin took over the Gasper River congregation and they built a meetinghouse a couple miles from the old one used by M’Gready. He then held a series of summer and fall communion services at Gasper and Muddy River. An awakening had begun especially among the young. However, antirevivalist older Presbyterian man, James Balch, spoke out against the M’Gready’s teaching and methods. The revival seemed to cease during the fall communion services during the period of opposition.

The next summer the revival began again. M’Gready noted that people began to groan, cry and swoon.38 However, the revival would climax the following year, 1800. News of what was happening at spread and during the June Communion service, a thousand people came. It was held at the Red River along the Tennessee line. During this meeting dozens were struck down by the power of God.

At the 1800, communion services John McGee, William McGee also attended and began preaching. John would give the Methodists a claim to the revival. John McGee would be the one who would give the revival the needed spark. He preached with “more animation and effect that the more reserved Presbyterians.”39

At the end on Monday of the final day most of the Presbyterian ministers had retired even though the people lingered. John McGee became stirred by the Holy Spirit and began preaching under an anointing from his heart. As he preached tears ran down his face and often he would shout. This form of preaching was alien to the Presbyterians, but it was effective. People began to swoon, and many fell as if dead on the ground. 40

A Clash

At the revival there was clash as predestination and regeneration clashed with the Arminian doctrine of salvation for all. The latter the Methodist preached with fervor and it soon became the leading tenet of this Great Revival. Soon, Men like Barton W Stone wrestled over the doctrine before he concluded he could not accept Calvinism. 41  After the Revolution, The Methodists formally left the Episcopal church and along with them many came seeking a personal religion.  They preached, “religion was something to be actually experienced and felt, and the emotions played a large part in worship.”42.

The Revival Continues

In July, John Rankin held a second communion service at the Gasper River Meeting House, This meeting which was eagerly awaited drew people from hundreds of miles. In fact, numbers outgrew the available hospitality. Preaching was in an outdoor tent and people did not want to miss it so they stayed on the grounds. Ministers rotated duties. 43

This communion service would become infamous and John Rankin the organizer traveled throughout Tennessee and North Carolina sparking awakenings there, 44 The camp meeting Rankin held at Gasper River has been claimed to be the first one held in America. 45 Some claim the meeting at Red River a month earlier was the first.  The Methodists argued it was the Christian equivalent of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.46

During the summer camp meetings were held in Cumberland. In Cumberland, M’Gready would write of the events which saw a great number of black people come to the Lord. In the fall of 1800 sacramental services were being held in east Tennessee and Piedmont of North Carolina as the greatest revival in America till that date was in full swing. 47 The revival saw “impassioned preaching, earnest exhortation, loud prayers, and energetic singing.”48

Barton W. Stone wrote regarding what he saw in non-revived churches…

“Apathy in religious societies appeared everywhere to an alarming degree. Not only the power of religion had disappeared, but also the very form of it was waning fast away and continued to till the beginning of the present century.49

Stone on hearing of the revivals sought to investigate them for himself. He attended a camp meeting in Logan County, Kentucky in the spring of 1801. Of that event he wrote…

“The scene to me was new and passing strange. It baffled description. Many, many fell down, as slain in battle, and continued for hours together in an apparently breathless and motionless state- sometimes for a few moments reviving, and exhibiting symptoms of life by a deep groan, or piercing shriek, or by a prayer for mercy most fervently offered. After lying thus for hours, they obtained deliverance. The gloomy cloud, which covered their faces, seemed gradually and visibly to disappear, and hope in smiles brightened into joy- they would rise shouting deliverance, and then would address the surrounding multitude in language truly eloquent and impressive.”50

Cane Ridge

The Cane Ridge revival in Central Kentucky occurred in August 1801. The success of the revivals over the previous summers lead by James M’Gready and his team spread like wild fire and proved to be great advertising. In the spring of 1801 the Holy Spirit was moving and revivals were breaking out all over the bluegrass state of Kentucky.  One minister wrote, “The power by which this revival has spread and its influences in moralizing the people are difficult for you to conceive and more difficult for me to describe.”51

AT Cane Ridge many gathered to hear the report of the revival in the West. Stone who had returned from his investigation addressed his congregation and the people were stirred. “The noise attracted crowds in the house which soon gathered about them. ‘In less than twenty minutes scores had fallen to the ground. Paleness, trembling, and anxiety appeared in al. Some attempted to fly from the scene panic-stricken, but they either fell or returned immediately to the crowd, as unable to get away. The meeting lasted on the spot until late at night, and many found peace in glorification of the Lord.”52

Stone recounted how he saw sinners struck down and lie as if dead. How they humbled confessed sins, prayed fervently and how they were set free. Regarding what he saw he wrote… “The Devil always has tried to ape the works of God, to bring them into disrepute. But that cannot be a Satanic work, which brings men to humble confession and forsaking of sin- to solemn prayer- fervent praise and thanksgiving, and sincere and affectionate exhortations to sinners to repent and go to Jesus the Savior.”53

During the meeting an intelligent deist approached Stone and told Stone he was deceiving the people. Stone responded with a few words and the man dropped as dead and rose only when he finally confessed Jesus as Savior. The meeting continued till late that night.54

This meeting caused a fire to spread. It would draw all denominations and “all seemed heartily   to unite in the work, and in Christian love.”55

In August a massive crowd in wagons, on horses and walking made their way to the camp meeting. Several preachers spoke from different denominations. There was a great unity in worship, in the Word preached and the prayers prayed. 56 The meeting continued for around a week until the people’s provisions ran out. Many had come from as far as Ohio and took home with them the fire they received. The manifestations were the greatest at Cane Ridge though each revival had many manifestations.

The Cabin Creek meeting near the Ohio River with Richard McNemar also exhibited all the manifestations seen at Cane Ridge. 57

At the Cane Ridge revival on August 6th, 1801 a crowd of perhaps 10,000 came with over 5000 wagons. 58 It is truly hard to comprehend such a crowd with no modern facilities or abilities to support such a crowd. Yet they came hungry and willing to pay a price to encounter the Lord. They came and camped out so they would not miss anything. People slept in the wagons or attached shelters. One of the great mysteries is how the massive crowd found water for themselves and their horses. 59 Cane Ridge was a poor camping site but out of it came planned camp meetings. In fact, within a year the Methodists had an annual camp meeting and evangelical Presbyterians also converted their communion services into camp meetings. 60

Contemporary estimates of the numbers who came on Saturday and Sunday place it at 20,000 with perhaps as many as 5,000 horses. 61 When visitors arrived, they were astonished at the size of the crowd and the noise which was described as like the sound of the Niagara Falls. The majority of people were causal visitors drawn by what they had heard.


One thing that made this revival so powerful was the emotions, agitations and manifestations that occurred. Throughout history many events have witnessed powerful spiritual events and many revivals the demonstrations of the power of the Holy Spirit. The demonstrations at this camp meeting were incredible. There were all types of manifestations.

There were endless bodily movements known as ‘jerks.” There was also rhythmic dancing, shouting, crying, groans, groans with babbling, holy laughter, and singing.

“Only one clear innovation seemed to mark Cane Ridge- what Stone would later describe as holy laughter or singing, coming from deep within the body. This exercise, noted by a few of the eyewitnesses at Cane Ridge, was suggestive of glossolalia and continued to be part of the religious services at Cane Ridge and Concord for at least a decade.”62

Stone recorded that people falling was common and that it happened to all sorts of people from the highly educated to the simple. Peter Cartwright, the Backwoods preacher, described some events at the Cane Ridge meeting including a mocker who cursed the “jerks” and then grabbed a bottle of whisky with the intent of drinking the jerks to death. The man continued to jerk so violently he shook the bottle until it finally hit a tree and broke, the man fell to re ground and then jerk until his neck broke and he died. The man continued to blaspheme the Lord until his last breath. 63 Cartwright stated that some of the fire was wildfire, that is it was voluntary being done under peer pressure, and he felt simply praying over the people would be the cure. 64

Davenport’s work claims that the manifestations occurred among weak people and that it was merely people copying one another.65

Stone recorded many of these events and knew many of the people involved. He spoke of people struck down and having an encounter with the Lord. They would arise declaring the wonders of the Lord. He recorded that some people had “jerks’ that involved moving their heads back and forward. With others it was more violent and widespread. Some would start with jerks and then end up dancing. This involved moving in a pattern and sometimes falling prostrate on the ground. 66

Regarding the “barking” exercise that was recorded by people like Cartwright and rejected by him, Stone said it was simply people affected by jerks and has a result would make a grunt sound or bark from the jerk. 67 The laughing exercise Stone explained was confined to those who already knew Jesus and it was a deep hearty laugh that was truly indescribable. 68

Then there was “running.” Stone stated they were the result of the agitations and people flying from them Then there was “singing.” Stone described this as “more unaccountable than anything else I ever saw.” 69 The person would sing a beautiful song that sounded heavenly and it would not come from their mouth or nose but appeared entirely in their breast and came from deep inside of them. The singing drew crowds as none had heard anything like it. 70

 The idea that many were falling purely in sympathy was expressed by many but as some argue the people would fall with their faces into mud and lie as dead for hours. Rev. James Finley wrote, “at one time he saw at least 500 swept down I moment as if battery of 1,000 guns had opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens.”71

McNemar wrote of a young man cried out, “Thus, O sinner! Shall you drop into hell unless your forsake your sins and turn to the Lord. At that moment some fell like those who are shot in battle, and the work spread in a manner that human language cannot describe.”72

Among those struck down were scoffers who came to mock what was happening. As they mocked and sought to hurt people, they found themselves struck down. Davenport added that many had dreams, prophesized, claimed that while they lay dead that they had seen love ones who had gone to heaven, they leaped, they jumped, they rolled and even children began to preach. He argued strongly against all the manifestations and even stated, “the vehemence of any form of impulsive social action is always increased by the presence of a relatively large number of the criminal and degenerate type in a community.”73

Stone sought to judge it by the fruit, and it is clear from most accounts that the fruit was indeed good. People were changed and gave their lives to Christ. With every revival there is real fire, wild fire and false fire.

Real fire is a demonstration of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes and moves, He believes He is Lord and He is in control. We see consistent manifestations that can also been seen in the Word and when the fruit is good, we can conclude they are real.

We then have wild fire. In a revival as the Spirit moves many do feel the need to be seen as touched by the Holy Spirit. Today many are trained that when you get prayed with you must fall backwards. But that is not to take away from the real and stopping wild fire can hinder real fire.

Then there is false fire. Fales fire is demonically inspired and seeks to steal the attention and cause division and strife in the group. Too often we fail to deal with false fire, and it can if allowed kill a revival. We are told to judge things by the fruit because God is a fruit inspector and if something is of His Spirit it should and must bare good fruit that lines up with His Word.

The Impact of the Revival

Cane Ridge was one of the greatest revivals in Church history. The communion services would draw conservatively over 100,000 people. 74 If we converted that into todays terms it is massive especially when you consider the population of the U.S at the time was around 5.5 million. The revival challenged the moral climate of Kentucky which afterwards was declared the most moral place. 75 It would spread a fire that reached other states. In 1802 the Carolinas and Georgia saw major revivals. But none matched Cane Ridge in comparison to the manifestations that occurred.

The revival began to cool and by 1802, the communion services were nowhere near the levels of the previous year. One thing that did come out of Cane Ridge and that was an antislavery sentiment. 76 It also challenged the Calvinist doctrines which it began to erode. We also perhaps see that God was shifting. Previous revivals were located on the east coast. But as people settled, they no longer needed Him. There is something about a pioneer. But we also saw a shift from the east to the Midwest. Many of the great voices of the mid 1900’s and later would come from this area of the country.

The Cane Ridge Revival they say helped create the Bible belt and it is the reason why in the Bible Belt many Biblical standards such as keeping the Sabbath would be honored.


  1. Redemption Times. Published by the Assemblies of God in Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 3. No. 1. January 1927. Page 12 and 13
  2. Conkin, Paul K. Cane Ridge: America’s Pentecost. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison WI. 1990. Page 3
  3. Conkin, page 3
  4. Rogers, James Richard. The Cane Ridge Meeting-House, to which is appended the autobiography of B. W. Stone. The Standard Publishing Company. Cincinnati. 1910. Page 13
  5. Conkin page 19
  6. Westerkamp, Marilyn, J. Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening, 1625-1760. New York, Oxford University Press. 1988. Page 23-32
  7. Conkin page 22
  8. Conkin page 23
  9. Cleveland, Catherine, C. The Great Revival in the West 1797-1905. The Revival Library.  Loc 72
  10. Rogers loc 72
  11. Rogers loc 72
  12. Rogers loc 97
  13. Cleveland, Catherine, C. The Great Revival in the West 1797-1905. The Revival Library.  Loc 97
  14. Cleveland loc 97
  15. Cleveland loc 150
  16. Cleveland loc 258
  17. Cleveland loc 286
  18. Cleveland loc 313
  19. Cleveland loc 340
  20. Cleveland loc 366
  21. Asbury, Francis. Journal of Rev. Francis Asbury: Bishop of The Methodist Episcopal Church.” London, Lane and Scott. 1852. Vol2. February 27th, 1795 Page 258
  22. Cleveland loc 387
  23. Clevland loc 411
  24. Smith, Joseph. Old Redstone; Or, Historical Sketches of Western Presbyterianism, its Early Ministers, Its Perilous Times and Its First Records. Philadelphia, Lippincott, Grambo and Co. 1854. Pages 359 and 360
  25. M’Gready, James. An Appeal to the Young. General Tract Agency.  1861
  26. Cleveland loc 411
  27. Cleveland loc 438
  28. Conkin page 50
  29. Conkin page 51
  30. Conkin page 52
  31. Conkin page 44
  32. Rogers loc 1092
  33. Conkin page 53
  34. Rogers loc 384
  35. Rogers loc 394
  36. Cleveland loc 490
  37. Cleveland loc 490
  38. Conkin page 57-58
  39. Conkin Pages 58-59
  40. Conkin page 60
  41. Stone, Barton Warren. The Biography of Eld. Barton Warren Stone, Written by himself with reflections. Cincinnati, J.A. and U.P James. 1847. Page 30-31
  42. Cleveland  loc 540
  43. Conkin page 60-61
  44. Conkin page 61
  45. Conkin oage 61
  46. Conkin page 62
  47. Conkin page 62
  48. Cleveland loc559
  49. Stone page 34
  50. Stone page 35
  51. Cleveland loc 763
  52. Cleveland  loc 773
  53. Stone page 35
  54. Stone page 37
  55. Stone page 37
  56. Stone page 38
  57. Conkin page 71
  58. Conkin page 72
  59. Conkin page 86
  60. Conkin page 86
  61. Conkin page 88
  62. Conkin page 113
  63. Cartwright, Peter. Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, the Backwoods Preacher. New York, Carloton & Porter. 1857. Page 50
  64. Cartwright page 51
  • Davenport, Frederick, Morgan. Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals: A Study in Mental and Social Evolution.
  • Stone page 40
  • Stone page 40-41
  • Stone page 41
  • Stone page 41
  • Stone page 41-42
  • Cleveland loc 861
  • Cleveland loc 946
  • Davenport page 65 (there is a whole chapter dedicated to Kentucky)
  • Conkin page 115
  • Conkin page 115
  • Conkin page 118