Itâ€™s that time again for friends and family to commune together at the Rock Springs Camp meeting. Itâ€™s the oldest campground of itâ€™s kind in America, its first camp meeting held in 1830.
Now in its 175th year, itâ€™s an opportunity for Methodists to take in the Lord and participate in Christian-based events in a more fulfilling manner than they might be able to do throughout the rest of the year.
For many, itâ€™s also the chance to reconnect with people they havenâ€™t seen since the previous year. Terry Brotherton, of Denver, knows first-hand what thatâ€™s like.
â€œI think itâ€™s a time of year that you can renew old acquaintances,â€ he said. â€œIf they went to camp meeting when they were younger, they will come back.â€
Brotherton has been attending camp meeting since he was six-months old, which equals approximately 59 camp meetings, he said.
â€œI have perfect attendance,â€ Brotherton said.
He has already washed his sheets, pillowcases and blankets and chatted with several other campers this year.
The official kick-off begins Friday Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. with the community singing. It will feature area church choirs, groups, quartets, trios, duets and soloists.
The event with the highest attendance will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6 with the gospel concert from 6 – 11 p.m.
â€œThis will be the first time ever that we have nothing but groups with number one chart songs,â€ Brotherton said,. Heâ€™s been in charge of the entertainment for the past six years.
Headlining the concert will be the Greenes, a group famous for their harmony. Also that evening will be a performance by the Whistnants, who have had five chart toppers. Rounding out the bill will be the Hoskins Family, who have been described as having a powerful message, Brotherton said.
â€œPresently, each one has been on the June charts in the top 40,â€ Brotherton said. â€œThese are groups that are known nationally.â€
Camp meeting will begin with â€œLittle Week,â€ which runs Aug. 1 – 4 with Childrenâ€™s Time at the Arbor from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
These are evenings open to children K to fifth grade and will be led by Rhonda Martin and Lana Parrish.
Commencing Aug. 3 – 4, from 7:45 – 9 p.m., a youth rally by Tsunami Ministries will take place.
Three worship service on Aug. 7, Little Sunday, will be held. Two are in the daytime, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m. The third service will be 7:30 p.m.
On August 14, Big Sunday, services will take place 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
All other times, from Aug. 8 to the 13, there will be two services, at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Thousands of people will come camp for two to three weeks.
To participate in the community singing on Friday. Aug. 5, call Van Barker at (704) 483-2710.
by Amy Wadsworth