38 pages 1 hour read

Dennis Covington

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1995

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapters 4-5

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 4 Summary: “Under the Brush Arbor”

In the spring of 1992, J.L. Dyal builds a brush arbor in a field behind his house in the Sand Mountain town of Section for himself, Carl Porter, and a man named Charles McGlocklin to lead services there. Carl invites Covington to attend these services, which had been commonplace in the rural South near the turn of the 18th century, with a sit-in in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, becoming the prototype for revivalism and a heavy influence on Pentecostalism. Covington brings two photographers, Jim Neel and Melissa Springer, to the service. Carl’s sermon centers on the topic of God’s love, while Charles’s focuses on their current need to “set [their] house in order” (83), and everyone responds with enthusiasm. That night, Covington witnesses Aline taking up the Spirit, which he finds intimate and moving. His participation on the tambourine causes everyone to begin to refer to him as Brother Dennis.

Chapter 5 Summary: “Jolo”

By the end of the summer, Covington has spent more time around the handlers and feels more comfortable around them; in fact, he and his two photographers, Jim and Melissa, begin to feel restless in Birmingham. As the brush arbor meetings will also be coming to a close due to changing weather conditions, the group is keen to travel with the congregation outside of Alabama.