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Camp meeting begins June 14

Andrea Williamson

Hartselle Enquirer

Beginning on Sun., June 14, the Tabernacle will once again be lit up and overflowing with campers during the 116th annual Hartselle Camp Meeting.

Each day Sunday through Friday, there will be two worship services held at the Tabernacle at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. The services will be led by guest speakers Michael Mason and Tom Tanner. The music will be led by Hartselle First United Methodist Minister of Music Ron Bean.

The services will also include special events throughout the week. Hartselle evangelist Junior Hill will preach on Sunday evening, and Pastor Appreciation Day will be on Monday. A memorial recognition service will be held on Tuesday, and Missions Day and Student Night will be on Wednesday. For Missions Day, Gene Martin of Global Health Organizations will speak on his organization’s involvement in ministering to Nepal earthquake victims.

While the services may be different each night, large crowds are expected throughout the week. According to Hartselle Camp Meeting President Rob Cain, they are accustomed to full services.

“We usually have 150-200 people each night, and we often have 300-350 people one night,” Cain said. “The morning services tend to be smaller, approximately 75 people, but they still have great impact on those who attend.”

Attendees can also enjoy delicious food in between worship services. At 8 a.m., noon and 5:30 p.m., the Waits Dining Hall will serve meals.

Additionally, an overnight camp will also be held throughout the week for teenagers and young adults. The youth will attend services and meals with the adults, but they will also have additional Bible studies and recreational activities. Cain said that having this program for the youth each year is an important part of the meeting.

“For us, this is one of the highlights,” Cain said. “Being able to allow people to get away from it all and focus on good speakers and good worship and is part of how the camp has always been.”

Cain, who also serves as the camp youth minister, has a personal connection to the youth program.

“I became a Christian at the camp meeting in 1980,” he said. “Police Chief Ron Puckett was also saved at camp as a youth, and we now both serve on the board together.”

The $175 registration cost for youth camp includes food, lodging and all activities. A registration form is available on the Hartselle Camp Meeting website.

Cain encourages people of all ages to attend the camp meeting. When asked what makes this camp unique, Cain said he believes that people meeting together from different churches is part of what makes the camp so special. Another factor, though, is the way the past meets the future.

“The camp is a paradigm,” Cain said. “You see vans from different churches pulling into the parking lot each year, just like an old time camp meeting. However, we bring in new speakers and new program leaders each year, which helps to attract the young people. We hope everyone will come out.”

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