The Effingham County Methodist Campmeeting has been a historical tradition since 1790.
In the past a family, such familiar names as Kessler, Dasher, Rahn, Edwards, Mallette, Oglesby, Nease, Exley and many more, would pack up just about everything and literally move to campmeeting in their wagons. This included pots, pans, mattresses, fresh straw, and live chickens. “Cooks”, which they also took, would kill and butcher and cook fried chicken all in the same day.
They would iron all their best clothing needed for the week for the whole family, which in those days may consist of six to 12 children, before they went. Cakes and pies would be prepared beforehand, also with no refrigerators and block ice, which had to be “ice picked,” and of course, no air conditioning. The “tents,” which they are called, may not look like a tent, but much love, socializing and plenty of food filled these “tents.” Most all the children considered this a vacation.
Lifestyle has definitely changed over the last 222 years, but the same love, socializing and plenty of food still are the same. These days “tents” include pots, pans, beds, mattresses, and permanent press clothes. There is still fried chicken, but you can buy them at a local store cut up and also fried for you. Most of the families consist of two to three children. There are refrigerators with built-in ice makers, concrete floors and some tents have air conditioning.
The most awesome part of this tradition, which is still ongoing, is God. This is the reason for campmeeting.
The last standing wood tent, “the Kessler Tent,” has had some modifications in the past but will be open for anyone to view.
The preacher will be evangelist Kenny Grant, starting with Friday night’s service at 7:30. He is the pastor at Savannah Calvary Baptist Temple. Rev Daryl Brown will lead music with Ralph Long on the piano. Services will be at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. from July 14-18.
Children’s activities are scheduled through the week with safe sanctuary being a priority. Special music on Sunday at 6:30 will feature The Premier Quartet and Wednesday service will feature Jill Trower.
Visit the Web site, www.EffinghamCampground.com for more information.