Table Rock Middle School

Religion in Burke County

World Religions
Although Burke County has representatives in a few different faiths, the majority of the population claims Christianity as their particular faith.  According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, as of the year 2000, 60.4% of citizens in Burke County said they adhered to a religious denomination.  Of this 60.4%, the vast majority (70%) classified themselves as Southern Baptist.  Methodist and Presbyterian round out the top three religious denominations in the county.

For more data on congregations and their adherents, please visit The Association of Religion Data Archives

Because the majority of Burke County is Christian, politics and policies may be affected and influenced by Christian principles. 

Religion at Table Rock Middle

The Facility:

During our experiences at Table Rock Middle, we did not have many experiences with religious issues.  Many of the teachers attended churches within the area, but their beliefs were not explicitly expressed within the classrooms.  Our knowledge of religion at the school was limited to our observations.  Some of these included:
  • The Pledge of Allegiance was recited every morning, including the phrase "under God."
  • The school sponsored a canned food drive to help a Christian ministry.  

The Students:

In our survey data (raw data results can be found here), we gave students an optional question that inquired about their and their families' religious backgrounds.  According to our survey results:
  • Of the 108 students that chose to answer, 96 said they or their family belonged to a religious denomination. 
  • Most students were not specific as to their particular denomination, but of those denominations listed, the greatest number of students claimed to be Baptist.
  • Other Christian denominations included Methodist, Assembly of God, AME, Holiness, Catholic, Unitarian, and Presbyterian. 
  • Buddhism and Shamanism were also mentioned.
  • Most respondents reported that they attended a religious service 1 to 2 times per week.
  • When asked what they did last Sunday, most students who responded (89) replied that they attended church.

Although we did not explicitly ask students in conversation what their particular faith was, we did overhear several students talk about their week/weekend activities including participating in various youth groups.  Some students also wear youth group T-shirts or shirts with Bible scriptures and verses or pray before eating in the cafeteria as a way of expressing their religious views in school.  There is also a student-sponsored Christian organization that meets in the mornings before school begins, the posters for which we saw hanging on walls throughout the school. 

From our observations and experiences, we believe that religion plays a very big part of most of Table Rock students' lives.  Their faith and the related activities in which they participate are a driving force behind students' social lives.  Because of the lack of recreational facilities nearby, many students out-of-school friendships develop within their church youth groups.  As young adolescents grow and develop, much of their moral development is influenced by the values taught to them in their particular religion. 

Although the public school facility cannot explicitly support Christianity or another religion, Table Rock does allow students to explore themselves and their religions by having extracurricular religious clubs and activities in which any student can participate and learn.  It may be beneficial to offer a World Religions or World Cultures Discovery class (if this is not already offered - we were unable to determine if this was available) for students interested in learning more about these topics.