Love Valley is a small town in rural North Carolina. Its genesis in 1954 marked the fulfillment of a dream for founder Andy Barker. Barker cultivated two visions as a young man—he wanted to build a Christian community, and he wanted to be a cowboy. The result of his vision is Barker’s utopian experiment.
The town boasts a saloon, general store, hitching posts, and rodeos. Yet, above all of this stands a little church—the heart of what Barker conceived as his Christian utopia. This unique combination has led to more than forty years of philanthropic ventures, controversial events such as the Love Valley Rock Festival, stories and legends, and political ambition. Love Valley: An American Utopia captures the history of this town in narrative form while arguing that Love Valley’s founders were motivated by utopian goals.