Rural Social Science Studies

The Cultural Background of Appalachian Peoples

This was done to train persons who will be doing mission work in Appalachia. Its goal is to help the missionaries understand the cultural values and ways of the persons who are native to the region.

The Rural Church in the South

This paper was given at the Southern Sociological Society meeting. It draws upon the data collected by the 1990 Glenmary study looking at the stock of churches in the non-metro counties of the nation. Hopefully this study will be replicated soon.

Celebrating the Jubilee Year of the Rural Church Program

This is an historical sociological study of the rural church program of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was intended for the celebration of the 50th year of this program.

The Churching of the Metro Fringe–Raytown

This paper was delivered at the SBC religious researchers meeting in 1996. I felt that we needed to look at what had happened in a suburbanized area over the past 50 years as related to the churches. I had hoped that it might be picked up and funded for a full study. I think that it provides some very valuable insights.

The Stock of Rural US America Churches

In this paper I attempted to demonstrate the myth of the death of rural churches.

Role Theory in Christian Perspective

This is a paper that I did which seeks to demonstrate the usefulness of sociological role theory in understanding the processes of everyday life. It uses a funeral as a case study.

Rural Sociology and Rural Southern Illinois

This is a paper that I did for rural pastors in the state of Illinois in 1997. I attempt to show how culture and history impact the development of church life.

Dr. Gary Farley was the Director of Missions for the Pickens Baptist Association (1997-2017). From 1984 to 1997 he worked at the Home Mission Board in the Rural Church Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. In that role he published many articles pertaining to rural church and community life. Many of these articles have been collected here as a small library. We invite you to freely distribute these materials under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.