Time to Go to Meeting

Back in the day when school didn’t start at the beginning of August, late July and August meant camp meeting time. The Vicksburg Post took note of this over a hundred years ago.

CAMP MEETINGS IN FULL BLAST

The camp meeting season is now in full blast throughout the state, and evangelists who can stir up the sinners and point out the beauties of a Christian life are very much in demand.

Crops have been laid by and in the rural districts the camp meeting is one of the principal forms of recreation during the summer months. Especially in the interior counties, these events are of great importance, and attract worshippers from many miles around, often thousands assembling to attend the services.

The Seashore Camp Meeting, which annually attracts thousands of visitors, has just closed, and the Hennington Camp Meeting will be opened at Crystal Springs immediately following the chautauqua session. The Shiloh Camp Meeting will hold its annual session at the camp grounds, seven miles south of Pelahatchie, commencing on the third Monday in August. The Auburn Camp Meeting, a Lincoln county organization, commences July 29th, and will be in progress eight days, the services being conducted by Rev. C.F. English, a noted Ohio evangelist.

Vicksburg Evening Post, July 21, 1906, p. 1

Back in the winter, I happened past the Shiloh Campground in Rankin County, mentioned above, and took a few pictures of this wonderfully evocative place. For those unfamiliar with campgrounds, they can be easily distinguished by their large open pavilion surrounded by varying numbers of small frame temporary residences, called “tents.” Shiloh is a large concern, with several circles of tents and a whole line of new development. It’s not listed on the National Register, but it does have a historic marker. Several other campgrounds still operate around the state, and of course, the Neshoba County Fairgrounds, although not religious, shares some architectural features of a traditional campground.

One of these years, if they’ll allow a Presbyterian, I’ll have to brave the heat to see Shiloh with all its people in it.

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Don’t forget that the Vicksburg poll ends tonight around midnight–get your vote in!



Categories: Architectural Research, Cool Old Places

3 replies

  1. Thank you for this article (& all articles!). I remember going to the camp meeting in Oxford on several occasions as I grew up. The open pavilion was referred to as “The Tabernacle”; I always loved going out to the grounds even when there wasn’t a camp meeting going on! The old campground is still there, and I believe they still have a meeting each August.

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  2. I’ve never heard of the Oxford campground–where is it located?

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    • As I recall it was off of the present day CR217; however, after looking at the Google satellite I don’t see it there. Three years ago I drove by and there was still a sign there but the entrance was a little obscure. I know they still had a meeting at that time as I saw a flyer announcing the schedule of activities. How sad that this southern tradition has slipped away.

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