camp meeting

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camp meeting,

outdoor religious meeting, usually held in the summer and lasting for several days. The camp meeting was a prominent institution of the American frontier. It originated under the preaching of James McGreadyMcGready, James
, c.1758–1817, American Presbyterian minister and evangelist, b. Pennsylvania. His preaching (1797–99) in Logan co., Ky., began the great religious revival which in 1800 swept over the South and the West.
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 in Kentucky early in the course of a religious revival (c.1800) and spread throughout the United States. Immense crowds flocked to hear the noted revivalist preachers, bringing bedding and provisions in order to camp on the grounds. The meetings were directed by a number of preachers who relieved each other in carrying on the services, sometimes preaching simultaneously in different parts of the camp grounds. Shouting, shaking, and rolling on the ground often accompanied the tremendous emotional release that followed upon "conversion," although these extravagances were opposed and discouraged by conservative ministers. Camp meetings were usually held by evangelical sects, such as the Methodists and Baptists, and by the Cumberland Presbyterians and other newer denominations that developed out of the religious revival. In modified form they continued to be a feature of social and religious life in the region between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River until comparatively recent times. In a sense, they survive in summer conferences and assemblies, such as the Chautauqua Institution, in revivals, and their spirit is captured by some televangelists.


See D. Bruce, And They All Sang Hallelujah (1974); C. A. Johnson, The Frontier Camp Meeting (1955, repr. 1985).

References in periodicals archive ?
Often the camp meeting was closed with a love feast, a symbolic shared meal in which all new converts participated (Dickson, 1974).
The religious camp meeting usually was sponsored by the Wesleyan Methodist Church [in the US] and in Canada the United Church.
To help preserve early spirituals, the group holds a camp meeting, a 19th Century style African-American worship service.
It was probably in the nature of throwing a bone to a disgruntled dog or, possibly, because the court subsequently became tired of hearing how well the "Eeevangellicull" churches were doing that we agreed to send a committee to the neighbouring county where an "Old-Fashioned Revival Crusade and Soul - Winning Camp Meeting Under a Tent" had been booked.
Realizing by the end of the 1880s that they must mollify the church's leadership if they were going to remain in the denomination, Georgia Holiness leaders disbanded their organizational structures with the exception of a non-denominational Indian Springs Camp Meeting Association.
But it floats on whites' inclination to see black Americans as spiritual folk, huddled organically around the camp meeting, communing with the racial essence through faith in things unseen.
The first recorded Methodist camp meeting was held in Logan County, Ky.
Spirituals had a mixed heritage: African traditions, the slave experience, and white music, especially as transmitted through Methodist hymns and camp meeting songs.
Though professional evangelists, such as Jacob Knapp, standardized camp meeting revivalism, its crucial elements remained the dominant motif in Baptist tradition until the mid-twentieth century.
The Great Auditorium, dating from 1869, was founded by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization, for the purpose of providing a permanent seaside meeting place for spiritual renewal.
Franklin attended nearly every camp meeting the past two school years.