The Value of Camp Meeting
When I stepped onto the Portland campground for the first time in July of 1974 to attend camp meeting as a twenty-one-year-old new convert, many surprises awaited me. For one thing, I did not know what a camp meeting was! My expectation was that those in attendance would be roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around a huge bonfire while singing songs.
It did not take long to adjust my expectations and to grasp what a benefit it is to be a part of three church services daily. It actually worked to my advantage to be an uncomfortable newcomer, as that meant there were few distractions to keep me from the prayer meetings which followed each service. During those times of personal dedication and consecration, I came to realize that the Lord was teaching me and helping me to become acquainted with Him. When my one week of unpaid vacation ended, I returned home to resume work. However, after just a few days, the pull of camp meeting led to my return. Within a few more days, I experienced sanctification following a Bible teaching service. While being saved had given me power to live without my old sinful habits and appetites, sanctification put within my heart a continual spirit of praise and thanksgiving. The testimonies and sermons helped lay a foundation that has supported me spiritually ever since.
The content of this October 2012 edition of the magazine is for the most part a product of the recent Portland camp meeting. From 1907 through 1919, camp meeting was held each summer in Portland at various rented locations. The current Duke Street campground was first used in 1920. The meetings that year were held in a huge tent since the current tabernacle was not completed until 1921.
A common denominator of Apostolic Faith churches around the world is that we hold camp meetings. Whether attendees number a few hundred in Newfoundland, the Philippines, or the United Kingdom, or up to 50,000 in Faith City outside of Lagos, Nigeria, the results are the same. Individuals are saved, sanctified, baptized with the Holy Ghost, healed, and otherwise grounded in their faith. We pray that reading this issue of Higher Way magazine will yield similar results in your heart.