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Church brings back old-time tradition

Cumming UMC offers August Camp Meeting

POSTED: August 3, 2013 12:22 a.m.

Beginning this Sunday, Cumming First United Methodist Church will present a series of special sermons and music during “August Camp Meeting.”

According to information from the church, setting aside the month for camp meeting, an old-style Christian happening, has been a tradition at Cumming First United Methodist since 1840.

“It’s kind of back to your roots with the old-fashioned music, but it’s mixed with contemporary music,” said Neida Streit, a spokeswoman for the church, of the modern camp meeting services.

“If you’ve never been to a camp meeting, you need to go at least once because it is a unique experience. There’s just a homey feel to it that’s different than the other services.”

This year’s musical styles will range from bluegrass and gospel to country, rock and jazz.

Performers include a harpist, country and Southern gospel groups, bluegrass bands, jazz and classical vocalists, and contemporary bands.

Streit said the August Camp Meeting services harken back to a simpler time when such services were held outdoors.

“In the 1840s, it was actually held on the square where the courthouse is,” she said. “They would do all-day singings and things like that.”

In honor of that outdoor tradition, all of the church’s 9 a.m. services this month will be held along the shores of Lake Lanier at 1850 Bald Ridge Marina Road.

“The first lake service [this Sunday] is really how the old camp meeting was, if people want to experience that,” Streit said.

The musical entertainment at that service will be Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, who Streit called “awesome.”

Besides the lake services, the church will present indoor camp meeting services at 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary and at 9:51 a.m. in the Family Life Center.

First UMC’s Hispanic/Latino Ministry will present special services at 1:30 p.m. in the Student Center.

Streit encouraged anyone looking for a special church experience to give the church’s camp meeting services a try.

“It’s fun,” she said. “You didn’t always think of church as fun when you were growing up, but camp meeting was always fun and it still is today.”


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