The History of Circuit-Riding Preachers

Americana, History, Traditions
on November 8, 2012

Circuit-riding preachers and priests ministered to settlers and organized congregations and parishes on the American frontier. Also known as “saddlebag preachers,” they traveled by horseback with few possessions except what they could fit into their saddlebags.

Always on the move, they spread Christianity across the West as they preached in cabins, courthouses, fields, meetinghouses and along circuits that generally ranged from 200 to 500 miles.