I wasn’t at Good Shepherd on Sunday because I was preaching at the Pleasant Grove Campground in Mineral Springs, NC, pictured at the right.
In fact, I preached at the campground on Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and then again yesterday for what they call “Big Sunday.”
Summer camp meetings are traditions in American Methodism going back to the early 1800s.
Asbury Seminary, for example, has its roots in the great Kentucky camp meeting revivals of the 19th century.
And so on Thursday night, when our first hymn was “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” I knew I wasn’t at Good Shepherd anymore.
Throughout the week, we sang old hymns, sat on wooden pews, and preached in stifling heat.
But it’s a great honor to be asked to lead these services, and on five different occasions in the last eleven years I’ve been able to preach a series of evening messages there at Pleasant Grove. Since it is so close to Mt. Carmel UMC, we end having reunion time along the way.
So what series did I choose to share at this venue that seems to capture the best of an era that has mostly disappeared?
unChristian — what a new generation of Americans think of Christ, Christianity, and church. I hope and pray it was the right message at the right time in the right place.