Southern Appalachian Ministry in Higher Education
Jim Sessions and Bill Troy founded the Southern Appalachian Ministry in Higher Education (SAM) in August 1972. Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, SAM was created as a multi-denominational Christian ministry that assisted communities and community colleges working for the betterment of the region and the lives of citizens within a 150-mile radius of Knoxville. The ministry was funded by a one-time grant from the Merrill Foundation; grants from the American Baptist, United Methodist, and United Presbyterian churches; and individual contributions. Sessions and Troy ran the ministry until a governing board was established in 1974.
Jim Sessions is an ordained Methodist minister who graduated from Drew Seminary. Sessions worked with the Boston-Cambridge Ministry in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He subsequently moved to Somerville, Massachusetts, where he worked with poor, white, working youth. At that time, he decided to take his mission to southern Appalachia. He moved to Nashville in 1971. A year later, he joined the Epworth Ministry, a multi-denominational mission located in Knoxville. It was here that he decided to establish the Southern Appalachian Ministry in Higher Education.
The co-founder of SAM, Bill Troy, is an ordained Methodist minister who received his training from Union. He worked with the Boston-Cambridge Ministry and moved to Somerville to work with Sessions. In 1972, Troy moved to Knoxville to help establish the Southern Appalachian Ministry in Higher Education.
Found in 1 Collection or Record:
These records document the activities of the Southern Appalachian Ministry in Higher Education from 1973-1980. They also highlight educational, social, economic, and religious issues shaping Appalachia during the 1970s. They include Board and committee minutes, correspondence, memos, project files, transcripts of interviews, surveys, newsletters, pamphlets, and articles on life in Appalachia. There are files on the boycott of the J.P. Stevens & Co. plant in Georgia.