Tucked away among serpentine roads and precipitous mountain slopes, the old coal mining towns of McDowell County, West Virginia, are places where religious tradition runs deep. But with a soaring unemployment rate, a growing drug crisis, and a high frequency of disease and death, the area and its church congregations are shadows of their former selves.
As older worshippers die and younger people lose interest, traditional Appalachian Pentecostalism faces an uncertain future.
View related multimedia, “Fading Faith.”
Parts of this story were shot on assignment for The Washington Post. Read the full story.