White Oak Campground’s annual summertime revival begins next week.
The United Methodist Church campground in Appling held its first camp meeting in 1873, and until 1999, the meetings were held in August, said John Stewart, a member of the board of trustees for White Oak.
Because the traditional time conflicts with the school calendar, the annual revival now is held in the last full week in June. The schedule change allows the entire family to attend, which is an important part of the camp meeting, Stewart said.
“For a lot of families, this is a family reunion during that week of camp meeting,” he said. “People have grown up there through the years and they (have) moved and gone away, but yet they come back during that week to spend time with family (and) to attend the camp meeting services.”
The meeting starts Sunday with a service at 7:30 p.m., which will feature the Rev. James Mitchell of Smyrna, Ga., with music provided by area choirs. Also present will be Bart Gray, a song leader from Augusta.
Stewart said each year the meeting chooses a different preacher with a particular appeal.
“We look at ministers who have been a minister at a big church and has drawn a crowd,” Stewart said, “one that can get up there and preach and speak to everyone in the crowd at all levels.”
Mitchell will preach at each evening service.
Throughout the week, there will also be daily Bible study at 11 a.m.
There will also be arts and crafts, and swimming for children.
On Friday, the final day of the revival, organizers will hold an ice cream social service.