Hartselle Camp Meeting returns Sunday
By Jacob Hatcher
For the Enquirer
In the winter of 1900, a plan was set in motion to build a rustic tabernacle on a 10-acre plot of land on the south side of Hartselle. Construction was complete in June of that year, and the first Hartselle Camp Meeting was held there in the early days of August. It has been 124 years since Dr. John L. Brasher and Rev. A.J. Quattlebaum climbed behind that pulpit, and the tradition will continue from beginning Sunday.
Reflecting on the history and significance of the Camp Meeting, Rob Cain, Hartselle Camp Meeting Association President and Camp Youth and College Director, said, “Leading this is a unique opportunity for me personally because it was at the Hartselle Camp Meeting as a fifteen year old camper myself that I came to my faith in Christ on the campgrounds. That makes it really special for folks like me.”
Cain has been the president for the past 17 years and says the association is excited for this year’s Camp Meeting and the lineup they have scheduled. “It’s kind of an open community revival Sunday through Friday,” he said.
There will be different speakers for the two daily services that are open to the public, one service being at 10 a.m. and another at 7 p.m. Students will also be staying on site in the dorms with twenty-four hour programming for them.
Speakers this year include Hartselle First Methodist Church’s associate pastor Barry Dunn, Falkville Methodist pastor Bobby Ray Halbrooks and evangelist Phil Waldrip.
“I would encourage people to check out the history of the camp. We have a lot more information on our website as well as history books written by retired Hartselle history teacher Jimmy Yarbough,” Cain said. “There’s nothing like looking back and seeing how God used it in the early years.”
One item of historical significance related to the Hartselle Camp Meeting is the writing of the hymn Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, which was written by A.J. Showalter in Hartselle. Showalter was a guest music leader for the camp meeting in the early years and the hymn was adopted as the official hymn of camp in 1974.
Students in the seventh grade through college can register on site or at www.hartsellecampmeeting.com if they are interested in attending the youth portion of the camp meeting.
“It’s $175 for six days of camp; thats all 16 meals, lodging, transportation to and from campus when we go places, so it’s a really good value,” Cain said.
The evening services will also be livestreamed on Facebook for those interested in the meeting who are not able to attend.