I've recently speculated about the atheist population in that area, and by coincidence one of the stories I've read about recently is based at a high school around Roanoke, which is in the next county over from our new house.
Reed Braden innocently lends another atheist Dawkins' book The God Delusion. The friend's father, either not aware or not accepting of his son's atheism, finds the book and confiscates it. He calls Reed threateningly at 11PM, and later demanded from his principle that he be punished 'for "handing out literature" and attempting to convert his already-Atheist son to Atheism.'
Gideons were handing out bibles in the school parking lot a week earlier.
I contacted Reed directly about atheism in southwestern virginia. His report was about what I had expected. They're there, just not visible. Sounds like a good opportunity to start organizing!