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Campmeeting is set for next week

POSTED: July 18, 2012 4:00 a.m.
File photo/

Frank and Elizabeth Nix sat on the family’s front porch at Lumpkin Campground in 2011.

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Lumpkin Campground will hold its annual summer revival next week.

Known as campmeeting, the week-long event traditionally features two services each day that include prayer, singing, music, Bible readings, preaching, personal testimonies and altar calls.

Organizers from Bethel United Methodist Church, located just across the street from the campground, said the event is held each year at the end of July and is usually well attended, drawing 500 to 600 people.

Campmeeting began in 1830 when 40 Methodist church members each pledged $1 to claim a 40-acre grove of trees. An open air pavilion was constructed and became the core of the summer tradition.

Since then the campmeeting has expanded to include Baptist church members and various other denominations.

Many attending families are relatives of the campground's original members and say the traditions are what keep bringing people back.

One tradition includes blowing a conch shell to announce each service, officials said.

However, the campmeeting has also evolved in some ways. In the early 1940s, some "tents," or rustic cabins, got electricity. Many dwellings now have gas stoves, running water and air conditioning.

Still, many of the traditions remain alive, such as whitewashing the tree trunks on the Sunday night prior to the event starting.

Services under the campground's open arbor will begin at 7:45 p.m. Monday and are held daily the rest of the week at 11 a.m. and 7:45 p.m.

This year's host pastor is Dr. Orin Sampson. The ministers participating are the Rev. Garry Polston and Dr. Jimmy Orr.

The Rev. Glenn Ray will be the song leader.

Special guest speakers include award-winning Christian music artist Laura Story, the youngest Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and Eric Redmon, a survivor of an extreme car accident who shares his testimony.

For more information, contact Bethel United Methodist Church at (706) 216-6220.

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