I had wanted to photograph a tent revival for as long as I could remember. That summer, I happened upon a tent meeting where a service had just gotten underway. Sitting in my truck with the windows down, listening and not wanting to intrude, I noticed a man get up from his chair, leave the cover of the tent and make his way to me. “You’re welcome to join us,” he said. I explained that I was a photographer and that I didn’t want to impose and take the focus away from the message. Gripping my hand again, he said, “Honey, you can take pictures of anything you want. You’re welcome here.”
Brother Roger Stevens and everyone in attendance that evening welcomed me and invited me back to another tent revival a few weeks later. These photographs are from July and August of 2014 in Goody, Pike County, Kentucky and on Gilbert Creek in Baisden, Mingo County, West Virginia.
Though my beliefs differ, theirs are familiar to me. The language, the signs, the themes are all things I grew up with. Roadside signs that serve both as warnings and promises, waypoints to help one navigate on both the literal and spiritual road. Songs of hope and promise, messages of a need for salvation. “I’ll tell you what this nation needs, it needs Hell preached hot,” Brother Roger said in one his sermons.