Music, religion & traditions: Begin your Appalachian summer with the Stephenson Center for Appalachia

June 06, 2017

If you are looking to gain insight into Appalachian culture, seeking to enrich your summer experience, or simply looking for traditional entertainment, reserve three Wednesdays in June to participate in the John B. Stephenson Lecture Series at Lees-McRae College.

Free and open to the public, the lectures are on consecutive Wednesdays, June 14, 21 and 28 at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium on the campus of Lees-McRae College.

On June 14, musical group Mountain Rose from Roan Mountain, Tennessee, will perform a mix of everything including bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, country, gospel and folk.  

Stemming from deep mountain musical roots, each member of the group brings to life a traditional element of Appalachian music. The band’s style includes elements of foot-tapping acoustic, three-finger style banjo picking, lead and rhythm guitar, mandolin, fiddle and doghouse bass.

On June 21, Jessica Bellemer, director of library services, will present a program on the many services and resources available from North Carolina and Tennessee public libraries, as well as publically available resources at the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons.

Earning her Master’s in Religion from Yale University and a Masters in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bellemer will teach visitors how to get the most out of the wide variety of traditional and innovative learning resources.

On June 28, Dean of Adult and Graduate Studies at Mars Hill University, Meredith Doster, will present a lecture, I Love to Tell the Story: Appalachian Religion, Auto-Historiography, and the Politics of Knowing. The lecture will take a myth-challenging look at traditional visions of Appalachian religion.

Doster earned her Master’s Degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University and a Doctorate in Religion from Emory University.

Scholar, teacher, humanist and supporter of Southern Appalachia, John B. Stephenson began his career at Lees-McRae College and rose to be the president of Berea College. He left an enduring legacy of devoted stewardship of the mountains. The program series honors his memory and carries forward his devotion to the southern mountains.

For additional information, contact Michael Joslin at

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email:
Mountain Rose of Roan Mountain, Tennessee