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Anticipating the 226th Methodist Camp meeting
Rev. Thaddeus Israel Nease
Rev. Thaddeus Israel Thad Nease

On Friday, the 226th Annual Effingham County United Methodist Camp Meeting will begin with a worship service at 7:30 p.m. The event goes on with services daily at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. through July 20.

There will be a camp for ages rising third through fifth grade under direction of Whit Myers (call 912-978-1500). Rising sixth through 12th grade camp is under the direction of Rev. Chance Ward (call 912-667-4903). Rev. Mike Ricker will be the guest preacher for Camp Meeting. Song leader Matthew Kersey and Pianist Ralph Long will lead the music for the services.

On July 17, “The Journeymen of Praise” from Rincon United Methodist will provide special music beginning at 6:30 p.m. prior to the service. Meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) are available by reservation at least one day in advance. Contact Maxine Wendelken at 826-5960 or 429-5962 to secure meals in the dining hall.

Families have gathered for 225 years in Effingham County to worship, have fellowship and to renew their spiritual relationship with God in Effingham County. Despite the ravages of war, the great depression, good times and bad those with names like Seckinger, Nease, Rahn, Edwards, Dasher, Morgan and others have faithfully attended. Many live in their tents or temporary homes on the camp ground for the week. Lively fellowship and good meals are the daily fare.

Rev. Thad Nease in the accompanying photograph has a building known as the Preachers Tent in his honor. Born in 1852, he was one of Effingham’s Methodist ministers who is still remembered fondly for his service to the Lord.

Charles Nesbit and Stella Exley and their children participated and a few of his grandchildren in the accompanying photograph are now the older generation attending. Some of their youngsters still meet at the Exley tent and enjoy this week of worship, singing and praise.

Camp Meeting is open to the public. You are welcome to come. The tabernacle is equipped with ceiling fans and hand fans to keep you cool during the warm weather. There are always a few watermelons, lemonade or a few churns of ice cream in some of the tents that will be shared to help cool down after the worship services. Prayers for our nation, our leaders and the world will be said for all the unrest and turmoil we are now facing. Camp Meeting is a unique experience and if you go you will certainly be glad to be a part of this age old tradition of worship and praise.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos or historical information to share contact her at 754-6681 or email