A Brief History...

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Camp meetings are both spiritual and social events that attract large numbers of participants.   Years ago, people travelled great distances on covered wagons, by horse, or on foot to attend the annual “meetings in the woods.”

Preachers known as “circuit riders” also travelled on horseback to the campgrounds and delivered powerful spiritual messages to all in attendance.   They sometimes endured torrential weather conditions on their journey to the campgrounds.   Most kept journals in which they wrote detailed accounts of the activities that took place on the grounds.

Francis Asbury became one of the best-known circuit riders in America.  Circuit riders traveled on horseback and sometimes battered torrential weather conditions on their journeys to the campgrounds.  Many of the circuit riders kept journals that contained detailed accounts of the persons in attendance and the activities that took place on the campgrounds.

When I began researching camp meetings, I realized that written historical documentation of the African-American camp meeting experience was very limited.   This realization led me to begin collecting oral interviews and documentation through photography and video footage.   Camp meetings continue to be a much-anticipated highlight of the year for many people.