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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Raucous prayer meetings in rural town

In this excerpt, Evitt remembers prayer meetings that were held nightly in her mill villages. She recalls raucous meetings where participants shouted and blacked out, which were frequently interrupted by police.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever go to any of those tent meetings as you got older?
ALICE P. EVITT:
No, I didn't. Mostly after I got older, they quit comin' around. Change, you know. Got to buildin' churches and people got to goin' to the churches more. I've been to services in houses and everything. Anywhere it's at, people would go. When I lived in North Charlotte, I was small. There was a crowd come there to a house just a little piece from where I lived and had service. I thought I'd go over there to that. I don't know what they were, but they preached and the people there they'd just fall in the floor. They'd pick 'em up on the bed. They went on so, the law come out there and rum 'em out sometimes. I didn't go back no more after they'd done all that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Who ran them out?
ALICE P. EVITT:
The law'd run 'em out. Like they's actin', they'd just fall over. They'd have the beds full. Mother didn't let me go no more. Law come in there and run them out.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why do you think the police came out? Did somebody call them?
ALICE P. EVITT:
I don't know. They must of been disturbin' somebody and they must have `ported them. I heard one man say he couldn't go to bed. His bed was full every night. He couldn't go to bed [laughter].
JIM LELOUDIS:
That was a house of somebody that lived in the mill village?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Um-hm. They'd be a-shoutin' and they'd just black out like they's sleep. I didn't know what to think of it. I just set and watched them. I didn't take no hand in it 'cause I didn't know nothin' about it. I didn't get to go back no more.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were those types of meetings pretty regular things? Did they come around every spring?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Un-huh. Till the law run 'em out from there, it was about one night every week at different houses. But I didn't go to them. I knew when they was goin' to be. They'd tell you when they was goin' to be. They'd invite people to come. People'd go-they'd have a house full.