A Coat of Many Colors: Religion and Society along the Cape Fear River of North Carolina
While religious diversity is often considered a recent phenomenon in America, the Cape Fear region of southeastern North Carolina has been a diverse community since the area was first settled. Early on, the region and the port city of Wilmington were more urban than the rest of the state and thus provided people with opportunities seldom found in other parts of North Carolina. This area drew residents from many ethnic backgrounds, and the men and women who settled there became an integral part of the regionŐs culture. Set against the backdrop of national and southern religious experience, A Coat of Many Colors examines issues of religious diversity and regional identity in the Cape Fear area. Author Walter H. Conser Jr. draws on a broad range of sources, including congregational records, sermon texts, liturgy, newspaper accounts, family memoirs, and technological developments to explore the evolution of religious life in this area. Beginning with the story of prehistoric Native Americans and continuing through an examination of life at the end of twentieth century, Conser tracks the development of the various religions, denominations, and ethnic groups that call the Cape Fear region home. From early Native American traditions to the establishment of the first churches, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, and temples, A Coat of Many Colors offers a comprehensive view of the religious and ethnic diversity that have characterized Cape Fear throughout its history. Through the lens of regional history, Conser explores how this areaŐs rich religious and racial diversity can be seen as a microcosm for the South, and he examines the ways in which religion can affect such diverse aspects of life as architecture and race relations.
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American Anglican antebellum architect architecture Baptist Church became bishop Brunswick County Brunswick Town building burial Cape Fear Indians Cape Fear region Cape Fear River cemetery century Chapel Hill Christian Church in Wilmington clergy Colonial Records congregation construction culture denominations Duplin County early England Episcopal Church established Evangelical Fayetteville Francis Asbury Gothic Revival Greek Revival Hanover County Historical Files History Ibid immigrants Jiangyin John land located Lower Cape Fear Lumbee Lutheran Methodist Church Middle Cape mington minister mission missionary Moorish Revival native North Caro North Carolina North Carolina Press Oakdale organized Orthodox parish pastor Paul’s political population preaching Presbyterian Church Raleigh religion religious Reverend ritual Roman Catholic sanctuary slaves social Society South Southern spiritual Sunday synagogue temple Thomas tion tradition University of North University Press Upper Cape Fear vestry William Wilming Wilmington Morning Star Wilmingtonians women Woodland period York