« Campion, Edmund Camp-meetings Camus (de Pont Carré), Jean Pierre »


CAMP-MEETINGS: Religious gatherings held in a grove, usually lasting for several days, during which many find shelter in tents or temporary houses. The main features are the open-air preaching, the night prayer-meetings, and the freedom of the life. They are not now so common as formerly. The first meeting of the kind is said to have taken place in Kentucky, on the banks of the Red River, in 1799, under a Presbyterian and a Methodist minister. These denominations at first used them in common; but gradually the Presbyterians withdrew, and they became almost exclusively Methodist and Baptist gatherings. In recent times the Methodists have purchased tracts of land in desirable locations on the seaboard or inland, and turned them into parks, with comfortable houses, streets, post-offices, meeting-places, Biblical models, etc., and there in the summer many persons live, and there the religious gatherings of different kinds are held daily. Thus the primitive camp-meeting is continued in an improved form. The credit of introducing campmeetings into England is due to the Rev. Lorenzo Dow, an eccentric though able minister of Methodist views, who in 1807 proposed it in Staffordshire. Two Methodists, William Clowes and Hugh Bourne, were so impressed with the advantages of this style of service that they persisted in holding them after they were disapproved by the Wesleyan Conference in 1807; for doing which they were finally expelled. In 1810 they founded the Primitive Methodists, which body uses the campmeeting, The Irish Wesleyans commenced using them in 1860.

Bibliography: S. C. Swallow, Camp-Meetings: their Origin, Hist., and Utility, also their Perversion, New York, 1878.

« Campion, Edmund Camp-meetings Camus (de Pont Carré), Jean Pierre »
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