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225 years of Camp Meeting
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The Effingham County Methodist Tabernacle as it appeared prior to a roof revision. This group assembled at the tabernacle appears to be a Bird family reunion held at the Campground circa the late 1950s. - photo by Photo provided

For 225 years, the Effingham County United Methodists have held an annual camp meeting. This is the fourth site where the week of services has been held. Since 1910, it has been in the same location.

The present camp site occupies 10-plus acres on the south end of Laurel Street in Springfield. This accompanying rare photograph features the old roof with embossed tin design. This group in the photo, although most were Methodists, appears to be an annual Bird family reunion held at the Campground.

Some years later, the roof got new tin and the raised top portion over the center of the tabernacle was redesigned, built and painted white.
Camp Meeting begins with a 7:30 p.m. service on July 17. Services will be held daily at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday there will be Sunday school at 10 a.m. The meeting will end July 22 after the evening service. Special music will be provided by Joyful Noise on Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. before evening worship.

The minister for Camp Meeting will be the Rev. Dr. Kenny Grant. Matthew Kersey will lead the songs with Ralph Long as pianist. District Superintendent is Rev. Dr. Wayne Mosely.

You may contact Whit Myers regarding registration for Children’s Camp, to be held July 20-22, (third through first graders) at 978-1500. Rev. Chance Ward will be able to take calls at 667-4903 about registration for Youth Camp to be held July 16-19 (rising sixth through 12th grades). Further information for children’s and youth encampment can be found at

A nursery will be provided for Sunday morning and evening services.

Meals are available for individuals or groups. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served for very reasonable rates. Reservations should be made one day in advance with the kitchen crew or by contacting Maxine Wendelken at 826-5960 or 429-5962.

This historic tabernacle becomes the church house for Methodist Churches throughout the county for these six days. It is a wonderful time for spiritual growth, fellowship and time with families in many of the tents that some attendees call home, staying there all week. Come worship, sing and enjoy the services with the faithful, many who have families that have attended Camp Meeting for generations.

This was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society with photo provided by the family of the late Harry Bird Zittrouer. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact her at 754-6681 or email her at: