Depicts life near the southern Appalachian region of Marion, Virginia in Smyth County, and specifically the path of Kenneth G. Killinger from being a mill operator to becoming a mountain missionary of the Lutheran Synod of Viriginia. Man carries sack of corn to a water powered mill. Sign "Corn Ground." Young man actor portraying Kenneth G. Killinger weighs the corn with a simple scale and then pours it into the stone grinder. He gives the ground corn to the customer, along with a booklet that reads, "The Augsburg Sunday School Teacher, 1910." Close view of the contents page of the booklet. The young man standing at the edge of the mill, water wheel turning beside him. Scenes portraying two memories from his youth: A woman taking a paddle to a boy. Boys gathered together drinking whiskey. Scene of men digging a grave in a graveyard beside a rural church. Killinger reenters the mill. Scene of young Killinger sitting on the porch of a rural home, reading to young children. Killinger counseling a bed-ridden elderly woman. On screen text reads, "Kenneith G. Killinger. 'The Mountain Missionary' of The Lutheran Synod of Virginia. Marion, Virginia. July 24, 1921." View of Killinger in 1921, preaching to congregation sitting under a tree. The congregation entering a small makeshift church building. The congregation entering an abandoned rail car turned into their church. The congregation later in a larger church building. Killinger preaching. Rural children singing from hymnals. Churchgoers exiting the church.
Deals with the appalachian mission ministry of Lutheran Pastor Kenneth Killinger. View of downtown Marion, Virginia, located in Smyth County. The Hotel Marion visible on a corner. A black Ford drives up and parks. A fellow Pastor, Brother Ciero Plummer, emerges from the car, enters Killinger's office. The two men chat across Killinger's desk about the need to expand their missionary operations and bring on new seminarians. They view a nearly empty offering plate showing limited funds.
Depicts industry and modernization coming into rural Appalchia in the early 1900s. A steam locomotive pulling a long line of train cars moves along the mountain side, leaving a trail of smoke in the Appalachian Mountain, near Smyth County Virginia. Man, woman and children wave at the coming train. Cow grazes in field. A steam shovel excavating a site. Vehicles drive past on a dirt road newly carved into a mountain side. Two men sawing a tree with a two-person saw. The tree falls. Horse carries wooden logs from the forest area. Logs being milled into lumber pieces at a saw mill. Giant saw blade spinning and cutting the wood. Factories with smoke spewing from chimneys. Rural coal mine buildings, some up high on stilts. A man operating an electrically powered, belt-driven lathe to turn lumber into round handles for tools. A rural preacher with a bible at an outdoor site, preaching in front of a corn field. Slates indicate that he is preaching against worldly education, and in favor of biblical learning only. reaches to people. A stone on a building with the words, "Marion Junior College. 1873." The preacher waving the bible in his hand. A teenage boy seated in a rocking chair on a porch reading a book.
Donations of clothes at Lutheran Mission Churches in Appalachian Mountain, United States, coordinated by Pastor Kenneth Killinger from Marion, Virginia, in Smyth County. Children come to Mission churches to learn about the bible during summer bible camps. Group of children ascending the steps of a church. Sign board of 'The Friendly Church' outside the church building. Children inside the church, with a boy and a girl holding the American flag in hand. Teachers and children gathered raise hands and appear to say Pledge of Allegiance. Teachers and volunteers give food to children participating in the summer bible camp. Boy writes slogans on wooden slates that say, "Camp Meeting." Children play in a garden, gathered in a circle holding hands. Parents, staff, and teachers work with the children on arts and crafts with supplies all have donated. A large gathering of the congregation of the mission churches beside a church or school house, and then under an adjacent large white tent. Pastor Kenneth Killinger speaking to those gathered under the tent. Group of women speaking in the tent, then outside in a ring of chairs. Woman instructor speaking to a group of children.
Depicts the work of Kenneth G. Killinger as a mountain missionary of the Lutheran Church in Smyth County and other towns of rural southern appalachia. Man with a primitive moonshine operation at his liquor still in the rural southern appalachian mountains. Shack of logs with barrel lying on ground next to him. Killinger meeting the man. The man being baptized and then reading from a book in a mission church. Portrays travels of Killinger recruiting new Christians. Killinger with lumbermen beside a stand of felled timber. Killinger baptizing a young girl, then driving on mountain dirt roads in a black car. Views of two churches from the exterior, and Killinger preaching in one of them.
Part of documentary "Below White Top" depicting missions of the Lutheran Church in southern Appalachian areas of the United States. View of rural homes and shacks in amongst the Appalachian mountains of Smyth County Virginia. A man and woman seated on a front porch while three boys in front play with a puppy dog. A young man wearing overalls is busy crafting a fiddle or violin. Parts of the fiddle lay beside him. View of mountains and a stream flowing over rocks.