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Looking back at camp meeting
Campmeeting 1906
The camp meeting in 1906, in front of a camp meeting tent that stood on the ground where the present Springfield City Hall is now located. The city hall building was built by Brinson Railroad. Shown in the picture are Lucille Berry, Ethel Hodge Scott, Marie Hodge Hawk and Kitty Berry Futrelle. Can you identify them? - photo by Photo provided

On July 13, the 222nd annual Effingham County United Methodist Camp Meeting begins with an evening service at 7:30 p.m. Services will be held daily at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. through July 18.  Presiding chairman of the Effingham United Methodist Campground Trustees Jason Hinely invites everyone in the community to participate in this long-held tradition at this historical Methodist site in Springfield on the south end of Laurel Street.

Since 1790, they have gathered for the encampment and have been at the present location since the Brinson Railroad displaced the previous camp site around 1907. Many families still “tent” spending the entire week living on the grounds in family buildings known as “Tents” where they spend the week. The historic open air tabernacle is the place of worship for the week. The accompanying two photographs have been newly discovered and give insight into the worship in years gone by.

Guest speaker for the week is Rev. Kenny Grant. Pastor Grant was born and raised in Brunswick. He has served as pastor for churches in both Brunswick and Savannah for many years. A former Marine drill instructor, Grant has a unique style of teaching and preaching. He communicates the word of God with insight, clarity, passion, and conviction.

Often punctuated with humor, his messages of impact always leave his audiences informed, inspired, and equipped to apply God’s word to their daily lives. Currently, he serves as the senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Temple in Savannah. Grant’s teaching ministry has extended to a wide range of groups and events throughout the United States.  Kenny is married to his wife Shirley, and they are parents of four children and one grandchild.

There are special supervised camps available for sixth through 12th grade with registration July 12 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The youth camp runs from Thursday through July 15 evening services. For more info on youth camp fees, items to bring or registration, contact Rev. Chance Ward at Goshen UMC at 826-6088 or his cell phone at 667-4903.

A nursery is available for infants up to age 2 during camp meeting services. Children ages 3 through fifth grade are invited to recreational time from 7-7:30 p.m. daily.  Children’s church is offered in the dining hall for the Sunday morning and evening services following the children’s sermon during the service.

Hymns and music are an essential part of worship and this year will be no exception, with Rincon United Methodist “Director of Worship” Ralph Long playing the piano. Song leader is Rev. Daryl Brown of Guyton United Methodist. A highlight of the week’s music is The Premier Quarter, who will sing at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening prior to and during the 7:30 p.m. service of worship. Special music by Jill Trower will be featured July 18.

Meals are available in the dining hall for individuals and groups. Reservations should be made one day in advance with the kitchen crew or by contacting Maxine Wendelken at 826-5960.

Jason Hinely, chairman of the campground trustees, says all of the trustees are putting forth their best effort to provide a wonderful week at Camp Meeting. The preaching, fellowship, music and worship experience are sure to feed the soul and the spirit.  Presiding superintendent Rev. Mike Huling extends the invitation to everyone in the community to take part in this faith based tradition that has been held annually for this, the 222nd year.

Come join in the worship and fellowship. You will surely be uplifted during Camp meeting 2012.

For further information, visit the Web site:

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