Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 10, 2013, the 125th Hurricane Camp Meeting

Time for the annual Hurricane Church Camp Meeting.  This will be the 125th anniversary for these meeting.
The old scared shed sits in readiness for the people starting Monday, June 10th, 2013.

The camp meeting was founded in 1888 by Samuel F. Crider, James F. Terry, John B. Perry, Richard S. Clark, Newton Franks, Joel W. Guess, and S. K. Breeding. The majority of these founders resided in or near the town of Tolu, which was located about five miles away.

 The first tabernacle was erected and the first meeting was held during the summer of the founding.  The people of the community cut logs from the nearby woods, hauled them to the sawmill and prepared them for building this first tabernacle

Rev. J. J. Smith attending this first meeting and continued to be the evangelist or one of the preachers for more than 50 years.  Many great evangelists and singers have come to Hurricane through the years.

The Hurricane Camp has changed over the years.  Besides the day and night services, there is now a youth camp during the week-long meetings.  The cabins are somewhat more modern, with a girls' dormitory and a boys dormitory. 

The sawdust floor of the tabernacle has been replaced with concrete, but the seats are still the same, rather hard and uncomfortable.  There is no air conditioning for the nighty services but hand-held fans are available for fanning the warm, humid western county night air.

The kitchen and dining hall have been updated, and all the meals are prepared daily with extra made for the nightly visitors that attend the meeting.

 Hurricane church is one of the old landmark churches in this area, having been founded in 1843.  The land for the church was donated by one of the early pioneer settlers, Richard Minner.  The church building now standing is the third building that has graced this beautiful naturally terraced hillside, having been constructed in 1931.  It replaced the second building that was destroyed by fire in 1919.

  There are many stories to tell besides just attending services.  The yearly event was the highlight of many people's social lives, just about the only social lives they had.  Here they could  recall old friendships made in years past, the ladies could visit and catch up on all the past and present news in their lives.  Many courtships were made here and several marriages were the results of these meetings.

One humorous story that has been past down through the families is one about Mr. Abe Rankin, a well-know farmer and business man of the Fords Ferrys neighborhood.  When the Camp Meetings were in
their heyday (probably in the early 1900's), Sunday was the big day when people came from miles around in their best dress-up clothes.

 Mr. Rankin, bought some blue and white bed ticking and had him a suit made out of it.  Needless to say there was not another bed ticking suit there, and he made quite an impressive sight, whether it was good or bad, I do not know, but he was remembered for years with his blue and white striped suit.

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