Skip to main content

Holston Methodist Conference



The Holston Conference developed from the Holston District. The first circuit rider was sent to the district in 1783. At that time, Holston was a part of the Western Conference, which contained most settlements west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the westward expansion, the church grew to where the Tennessee Conference was established in 1812 with Holston still as a district. In 1800, the Tennessee District contained four circuits: Holston, New River, Russell, and Greene.

The Holston circuit covered parts of present Sullivan, Hawkins, and Grainger Counties in Tennessee. Between 1802 and 1812, the Holston District grew to nine circuits, and in 1816 the district was split to form the Holston and French Broad Districts. The Holston Conference was formed in 1824, and the first session was held in Knoxville, Tennessee, November 27, 1824.

The history of the Holston Conference Messenger began when Thomas Stringfield established the Western Arminian in the fall of 1823 at Huntsville, Alabama. The Western Arminian was printed in book form, forty pages in length by Yokes and Bledsoe. Stringfield was appointed presiding elder of Knoxville District, Holston Conference before the end of 1823. Stringfield found a partnership with Rev. George Atkin in Knoxville and changed the title of the Western Arminian to Western Arminian and Christian Instruction. After a year, Atkin dissolved the partnership, and Stringfield became sole editor and proprietor of the magazine. In the fall of 1826, Stringfield transferred his property in the periodical to Holston Annual Conference. The Conference took charge of the periodical and published through the agency of a publishing committee with Stringfield retained as editor. The title was changed to Holston Conference Messenger, and it was issued as a weekly, the first number appearing January 6, 1827. The periodical was reduced to sixteen pages. The Conference returned the Holston Conference Messenger back to Stringfield after a year. Stringfield continued to publish the magazine under the shortened title Holston Messenger.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Holston Methodist Conference Collection

Identifier: AppMs-049
Scope and Contents

The collection contains the published minutes of the annual Holston Conference, 1833-1840. Also included are published pamphlets dealing with the Methodist faith, and the Conference Messenger, 1827, as well as the magazine, Monthly Miscellany, August 1843.

Dates: 1820-1843