Methodist Church in Fayetteville, NC town where Harry Hoosier (aka Hosier) was born in 1750

The church in Fayetteville, NC named after Harry is located next to Fort Bragg and hosts a weekly food pantry

Church secretary's office in Fayetteville, NC with portrait of Harry Hoosier

Inside the Fayetteville, NC church

Former Harry Hoosier Hall located at a church camp in Waveland, MS was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005

Speaking in Elementary School Gymnasium during Black History Month 2017

Hoosier Memorial UMC in Atlanta, GA named after Harry Hoosier

Hoosier Memorial UMC Dedication Plaque

Fellowship with Hoosier Memorial UMC members

Bust at Harry Hosier Institutue Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL 

Harry Hosier Institute Conference Room

Harry Hosier Institute zoomed portraits

Plaque outside Washington, DC cemetery commemorating Harry Hoosier. According to the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church he was the first black preacher to deliver a sermon in America on 5-13-1781. The brick at the base is an original from the church.

We spoke with the curator of the Oakwood Cemetery and they are going lay a wreath in the month of May going forward honoring his history making preaching there and his death in Philadelphia on 5-18-1806

Oakwood Cemetery in Falls Church, VA where Harry Hoosier gave his famous "Barren Fig Tree" Sermon 5-13-1781

Original location of Zoar Church (corner of 4th and Brown Streets in Philadelphia). Zoar Church Cemetery was the claimed site of Harry Hoosier's burial in 1806 and no grave stone has been found to our knowledge since urban development paved over the site in the 1800's. 

Historic St. George's United Methodist Church Philadelphia operating continuously since 1769 houses Methodist archives and was frequently visited by Harry Hoosier

Wall portrait of Harry Hoosier and posted statement on "Hoosiers" next to his portrait

Zoomed in posted statement next to Harry Hoosier portrait

Kristina St. George's UMC balcony

Opening the archives vault in St. George's UMC

Connie and Kristina looking for documents

Outside Mother African Zoar United Methodist Church in Philadelphia orginally founded by Harry Hoosier

Stained glass window Zoar UMC  

Indiana Historical Society 2nd floor wall mural

Left mural 'The Hoosiers Nest' author John Finley and early Indiana Historical Society Secretary author of 'The Word Hoosier' JP Dunn

Of 13 popular theories listed under Debunked about the only one JP Dunn's classic work 'The Word Hoosier' did not outright debunk or state was highly improbable was Harry Hoosier the 4th one down.

 The term ‘Hoosier’ was popularized across Indiana with the publication of Finley’s poem in 1833.  Harry Hoosier died in 1806 and Finley knew of the word before he wrote his famous poem.  The brother of Finley’s grandfather helped raise Dr. Benjamin Rush who was a Founding Father and signer of our Declaration of Independence.  Rush stated accounting for his illiteracy, Hoosier was “the greatest orator in America”. 

According to Wabash College Professor Webb:

It is probably no coincidence that the derogatory use of the term Hoosier begins to appear at the time of Hoosier’s ministry.  His congregations were rural and unsophisticated, and they mixed the races, two characteristics that would have prompted hostility and ridicule.

On the Appalachian frontier the term Hoosier became slang for people who were uneducated, so uneducated that they would follow a black minister. Later, as the term migrated west from Virginia and the Carolinas to Tennessee, and then North to Indiana, it came to mean simply someone who was uncouth or ignorant.  As Piersen suggests, the greater number of Methodists in Indiana than in southern states helps to explain how the term finally found its home.  In the end, the racial connotations were gradually stripped away and lost to history.