Salem Camp Meeting Continues Tradition

Salem Camp Meeting is a yearly event that gives everyone the chance to gather under the arbor, visit with neighbors, sing the good old songs, listen to great music and preaching, and shout “Amen”.  In other words, it’s a place to revive your spirit.

Services have been held at Salem Campground (located at Salem United Methodist Church) almost every year since 1836.  Two events have kept it from being continuous, the Civil War and the Covid Pandemic (2020).  In the old days, the campground was covered with primitive cabins called tents where people who lived too far away to go back and forth every night would set up camp and only go home occasionally to see after farm animals.  Eventually the camping stopped because everyone owned an automobile and could travel back and forth easily.  We still call it the Salem Campground but it’s no longer used for camping.

Originally the services lasted for ten days or more with sermons preached throughout each day.  During the time that I attended as a child, I remember we met in the morning and evening of each day and three times on Sundays!  As a teenager, I remember sitting around a campfire one year at night after services and Rev. George Wayne Martin played his guitar and we all sang.  Mostly they were fun songs like “There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea” but we ended with a song like “Amazing Grace”.

Salem Camp Meeting this year is on August 1-5 starting at 6:30 each night.  The service will consist of congregational singing, special music, and preaching.  Kathleen Dockery will be our pianist and Randy Mason will be our song leader each night.  This year we have the following five preachers scheduled:

Date Preacher Home Church
Sun Aug 1 Rev. Mark Norman Highland Valley UMC, Little Rock
Mon Aug 2 Rev. Todd-Paul Taulbee First UMC, Sheridan
Tues Aug 3 Rev. Hammett Evans Asbury UMC, Little Rock
Wed Aug 4 Rev. Natasha Murray-Norman St. James UMC, Pine Bluff
Thurs Aug 5 Rev. Roy Smith Trinity UMC, Little Rock

Our mission project this year is twofold.  We are asking everyone to bring new or gently used children’s books to be donated to Salem Elementary students.  We will also have a lemonade stand one night to provide funds for The Call.

We hope you will come and enjoy camp meeting with us this year!  There will be free popsicles and water available.  And at least one night there will be free ice cream!

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