They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear.
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Here they provided the hard manual labor that supported the South's biggest crops: cotton and tobacco.
In the South, Anglican ministers sponsored by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, founded in England, made earnest attempts to teach Christianity by rote memorization; the approach had little appeal.
Marilyn Mellowes was principally responsible for the research and development of the series God in America and has served as its series producer.
She produced and wrote From Jesus to Christ, the First Christians, a four-hour FRONTLINE series that premiered in 1998.
Remarkably, a few black preachers in the South succeeded in establishing independent black churches.