Camp Meetings


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Camp Meetings

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Early gatherings of Spiritualists were often called camp meetings, taking place on the shores of a lake or some other rural place. They later came to be called assemblies. The first camp meetings took place at Lake Pleasant, Massachusetts. Originally a gathering of tents, these meetings later grew to include 500 cottages, a grocery store, hotel, and refreshment stands. Such gatherings would often last throughout the summer with mediums and lecturers—many of them prominent—becoming temporary residents on the site. Onset, Massachusetts, was another early camp meeting place as was Lily Dale, New York, on the shores of Lake Cassadaga.

Small camp meetings first appeared in the 1850s, with low attendance and lasting only a few days. These gradually grew into the larger gatherings that lasted all summer long and attracted thousands. As they grew and became regular events, cottages were built to replace tents, and other amenities were added. There was generally a festive attitude though great attention was paid to the speakers and mediums.

Although Lake Pleasant was the largest of the early gatherings, the Cassadaga Lake Free Assembly—later renamed Lily Dale—became the most popular. It was established in 1879, in Chautauqua County, New York. By 1893, it had 215 cottages with approximately forty families living there year round. In 1888, the United States Postal Service installed a post office there. It currently covers 160 acres and is the largest and most active of such communities. In 1894, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association was established in Florida, as a counterpart to the New York assembly. On the west coast, the Harmony Grove Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association was formed and incorporated in San Diego in 1896. It still operates today.

Sources:

Buckland, Raymond: Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communications. St. Paul: Llewellyn, 2004
Guthrie, John J. Jr.; Phillip Charles Lucas; and Gary Monroe (eds): Cassadaga: the South’s Oldest Spiritualist Community. University Press of Florida, 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
Shaker missionaries preached frequently to the Adventists at gatherings referred to as camp meetings, as Jacobs witnessed on his trip east in 1846.
The advent of these early American religious camps--primarily Christian and denominationally affiliated--was heavily influenced by two definitive religious movements: the camp meeting and the religious conference.
While modifying the structure of frontier camp meetings, love feasts and other organizational forms in order to accommodate Methodists' changing tastes and leisurely habits, the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness hoped that a return to these liturgical practices in resort towns like Ocean Grove would provide similar spiritual and social benefits for late-nineteenth-century campers.
Fred recalled these camp meetings, which lasted from the 1920s when he was a small child until at least the 1950s.
Zion Spiritual Singers for an authentic old time Camp Meeting at the Leadership Summit in Charleston, S.C., next month.
Asbury recognized the crucial importance of camp meetings in gaining converts and enthusiastically encouraged Methodist preachers to use the technique.
In many cases, African Americans were included in the services, although segregated either in special sections of the camp meetings or at separate camp meetings.
Those distinctive Methodist institutions that propelled the church to the preeminent position in 19th-century America have all but vanished: the circuit riders, class system, camp meetings, and revivals.
During revivals, for example, factories virtually ground to a halt while workers attended camp meetings. Religion could be used to support factory life, but it could also compete with factory discipline.
Every month Charisma is loaded with ads for "camp meetings " At these two, or three-day mini-vacations for born-again Christians, the entertainment is gospel music and high-energy preaching by charismatic celebrities.
They met their neighbors at log-rollings, barbecues, and religious camp meetings. Some of them drank too much of the raw whiskey produced on the frontier, or gambled on horses or at cards.
* Attend CAMP meetings third Wednesday of each month