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Rock Spring faithful set for annual return to historic campground



Staff Writer


Despite near triple-digit temperatures and the threat of creepy crawlers and other campground critters, Rock Spring Campground officials expect thousands of faith-filled participants to gather rain or shine this month for Denver’s 182nd annual Rock Spring Methodist Camp Meeting.

Since 1830, when founders built the 1,000 seat, open-air arbor on the 40-acre area along Campground Road, Christian believers from various denominations have flocked to the annual two-week event, participating in religious festivities such as worship, sermons and other concert events.

Late last month, campground officials auctioned off the nearly two-century old, “hand-hewed” logs to local bidders, following a nearly $100,000 arbor renovation earlier this year, a press release said.

“The arbor stands ready to beat with the heart of God,” Camp Meeting Minister Rev. Tony Matthews, of Bethel United Methodist Church and Fairfield United Methodist Church, both in Denver, said in a press release. “Rock Spring is a place to encounter the divine.”

It’s also a place of heritage and Southern tradition as families unite each year to experience religious revival but also retreat inside one of the 247 country cabins. In past years, as many as 5,000 attendants have responded to the famous campground across the two-week period.

Starting this week, children’s services will be 6:30 p.m. nightly under the arbor. Musical entertainment featuring nationally-known Bluegrass and Southern Gospel bands will commence 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Aug. 11.

For more information on the camp meeting, contact Campground Chairman Van Barker at (704) 483-2710.

The following is a schedule of events for the 2012 Rock Spring Campground Camp Meeting:

  • 8/01 & 8/02 – 6:30 p.m. children’s service led by Lana Parrish.
  • 8/03 – 7 p.m. community singing (local talent)
  • 8/04 – 7 p.m. “Big Sing” event feat. The Anchormen, The Shireys, Carolina Quartet & Southerners Quartet
  • 8/05 – 10 a.m. Sunday school (Butch Ross); 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Tony Matthews) ; 7:30 p.m. worship (Rev. Charles Kyker & Bethel UMC choir)
  • 8/06 – 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Katherine Sherrell); 7:30 p.m. worship (Rev. Kyker & Webb’s Chapel UMC choir)
  • 8/07 – 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Tim Killian); 7:30 p.m. worship (Rev. Kyker & Salem UMC choir)
  • 8/08 – 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Jeff Johnson); 7:30 p.m. worship (Rev. Andrea Smith & Lebanon UMC choir)
  • 8/09 – 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Dave Hobson); 7:30 p.m. worship (Rev. Smith & Denver UMC choir)
  • 8/10 – 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Hubert Clinard); 7:30 p.m. worship (Rev. Judy Eury & Hill’s Chapel UMC choir)
  • 8/11 – 7 p.m. Bluegrass Gospel concert feat. Golden Valley Crusaders, Timber Ridge, Misty River Band & Destined 4 Glory
  • 8/12 – 10 a.m. Sunday school (Butch Ross); 11 a.m. worship (Rev. Matthews); 6 p.m. Farewell Communion Service (Rev. Matthews)


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