First Florida Camp Meeting

History Book
History Book
History Book

In October of 1956, the eastern Apostolic Faith churches joined the southern churches at the annual revival meetings held in Century, Florida. The following year, the General Overseer of the Apostolic Faith work, Raymond Crawford, and a team of workers visited Century.

The campground at Century, Florida.

In July of 1957, a veteran of the southern work, Pearl Lockett Sr. (then pastor of the Century congregation) and other southern ministers, asked Reverend Crawford what he thought about organizing a camp meeting for the southern churches. The response was, “That would be wonderful, and Century would be the place for it.” The prospect was brought before the ministry, and all agreed and pledged their full support of the endeavor, making plans for the first camp meeting to be held in October of 1958.

William McClary, pastor in Kingstree, South Carolina, gives a message at the 2003 camp meeting.

Small tents were sent by truck from the headquarters in Portland to be used as sleeping quarters, and space was made behind the cafeteria and church to pitch two rows of tents. One tent was situated at the gate, and this became the campground office. A big Gospel tent was brought to Century from Atlanta, Georgia, and was situated on the east side of the church. Reverend Crawford from Portland preached the first sermon. A written account of that first camp meeting describes it: “What a time we had! The power and glory of God came down and set His approval on the meetings.”

The congregation at the Century camp meeting in 2003.

After a while, the property next to the church became available, and the ministry decided to purchase it for a campground. It was not easily acquired, and many prayers went up before the land came into ownership of the Apostolic Faith organization. Much preparation was necessary to make the grounds suitable for a camp meeting. One member used his farm tractor to level the land to be used as streets, parking lots, and the tent area. A large tent was set up for the meetings, electric lines run for the lights, and a platform built for the ministers and choir. In 1966, the tabernacle was completed, though many improvements have been made on it since that time.

Robert Moore, District Superintendent for the southern and eastern branch churches, gives his testimony.