The Piedmont Atlantic is named for the swath of people that have been funneling into the foothills of the Appalachians from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River.
The former boundaries do not work, and might even restrict how a political body, business corporation or church group interacts with the people living around them.
In this attempt to look at the Nazarene presence, it has taken some time to determine the working boundaries of the megaregion as shown below as well as determining which churches on the seven districts would be examined as part of this research and which ones would be left out.
On the seven Nazarene districts, the churches included in the study are in the parentheses. These churches include ones that are active as well as those that have been closed.
Total churches on the seven districts: 1496 churches
Alabama North: two churches not included (Saragossa and Cordova); (181 of 183)
Alabama South: 14 churches not included, separately 36 churches on Gulf Coast megaregion (70 of 120)
East Tennessee: 11 churches not included (195 of 206)
Georgia: 77 churches not included (152 of 230)
MidSouth: 121 churches not included / 31 churches on Gulf Coast megaregion (300 of 452)
North Carolina: 5 churches not included (155 of 160)
South Carolina: 37 churches not included (108 of 145)
335 churches not included in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion research
1161 churches included in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion research
NOTE: The MidSouth district stretches from Knoxville, Tennessee to Biloxi, Mississippi.
This map was my first working map of the megaregion. I decided later to stay closer to the actual outline of the megaregion. I draw a line from Greenville, NC to Augusta, GA on the east side, basically following I-95. For the southern edge toward and through Alabama, I follow route 80 from Macon to Montegomery and route 82 north to Birmingham and then straight west to I-55/Batesville in Mississippi. I also include churches north of I-40 between Nashville and Knoxville in Tennessee, particularly between Knoxville and the Appalachian forests since this area has a growing population. I did not include the coastal cities of North Carolina and South Carolina beyond I-95 since these are giong to be areas usually populated by tourists, investors, and speculators.
Of note is the gap between the northern halves of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. There are numerous churches to the north of I-20/I-85 corridor (Montgomery, Meridian, and Jackson), and then a gap until the Gulf Coast along the I-10 corridor.
The infograph speaks for itself but wanted to point out the sheer activity generated during the 1940s and 1950s. There were 356 churches started during these two decades (334 were soon organized). This is, of course, during the height of the Baby Boom in the years following World War II and the first years of the G.I. Bill.
Surprisingly, of the churches started in the 1940s and 1950s, thirty-seven percent (37%) are still active. This matches the percentage of churches overall that are still active (438 out of 1161).
The most churches started in a single year was 1949. All eighteen are still active.
I also want to point out the fact that 35 churches are still active after 100 years of ministry.