Redbank Valley Historical Research Project

The Redbank Valley Historical Research Project (RVHRP), hosted by the Redbank Valley Historical Society and the St. Mary’s Redbank Church, in collaboration with Liberty University’s History Department, aims to provide students with hands-on experience in historical research by exploring the rich history of New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the greater Redbank Valley community. Follow @ &

Researchers: Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, and Jacob Battle
Associate Researcher: Clara Gourley

Leading this research are three dedicated scholars from Liberty University:

  • Colin Wood (Lead Researcher): Born and raised in Seattle, WA, and currently residing in Washington, DC, Colin is completing his undergraduate degree and exploring Masters and PhD programs. His historical specialty is societal history in America during the 20th century. Colin aspires to be an author and professional researcher. “This experience has helped me grasp an intimate understanding of the historical process and it impacts communities.”
  • Christian Mumpower: A second-year graduate student specializing in the study of the First World War, Christian comes from a rural community near Bristol, Southwest Virginia. He graduated with highest honors from Liberty University in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in history and minors in German and military history. Christian plans to enhance his skills as a historian overseas and aims to become a professional researcher and author. “My time spent working on the Redbank Valley research project has already yielded a great deal of valuable experience and has allowed me to positively impact a community similar to the one I grew up in.”
  • Jacob Battle: A sophomore history student specializing in the study of the Cold War, Jacob hails from Chesterfield, Virginia. He aspires to become a history professor and author. “The Redbank Valley Historical Research Project has opened up a number of doors both in the community and in my career. We are already making huge progress in uncovering a previously neglected part of history.”

Supporting these scholars is Associate Researcher Clara Gourley, whose commitment to preserving our community’s history has been instrumental.

These scholars will be performing research over the next few months (June 1st to July 31st) on behalf of the St. Mary’s Redbank Church, Redbank Valley Historical Society, and Liberty University’s History Department regarding how the Great Depression affected the Redbank Valley area, and specifically the greater church community.

Their research will result in a published scholarly paper as well as a public presentation of their findings at the Redbank Valley Historical Society towards the end of July (TBD). They will also be posting routine photos and videos of their research on Facebook and Instagram for the community to enjoy!


Approximately 20K is needed each year in order to sustain the Redbank Valley Historical Research project in the future, and give scholars an opportunity to support the community.

We welcome your fully tax-deductible donations via all major credit/debit cards to the St. Mary’s Redbank Church ( and the Redbank Valley Historical Society (


RVHRP 2024 - Researchers - New Bethlehem PA

Left-to-right: Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle, Colin Wood, and Rev. Dr. Gordon Barrows

Researchers Contact: [email protected]

Leadership Team: