In the 1800s, most people in the hills were Baptist and some were Methodist. The culture was Scots-Irish. In the 1600s and 1700s Scotsmen owned the land in Ireland while the native Irish share-cropped. The Scots-Irish did not appreciate the English influencing their freedoms nor did they like the taxes imposed by England. They were against the oppressive Anglican (English) influence in the Irish and Scottish homelands. Some Scots-Irish emigrated to America and joined the newly organized religions when they moved to the mountains. "Missionaries" started churches and circuit preachers rode into several communities to preach every several weeks. (There was a shortage of preachers in some communities so these individuals would ride from town to town like salesmen.) Sometimes, in the late 1800s until World War 2, when people lived in a community and wanted to worship God with the neighbors, they'd go to the community church building. (School was taught there during the week and town events took place on occasion.) Eventually in a generation or two, the citizens of those small towns became that religion by default and tradition.
The Scots-Irish fight carried over here when the English wanted to impose their will on the immigrants. That is why we had an American Revolution in the 1700s. The New Americans said "Enough is enough!" Also most Scots-Irish had no hesitation marrying into the Cherokees and other neighboring tribes. It was the English, and their aristocracy that wanted to force out the Cherokee and the mixed bloods.
A Bit of History