In the year 1858, Texas had been a state only 13 years having joined the Union in 1845. By order of Congress, the Comanche Indians were to be moved out of Texas and into Indian Territoy in 1858. Except the Comanches did not recognize that order and were not removed until many years later!
Also that same year, Congress authorized the Butterfield Mail and Stagecoach Line. The year 1858 was also the year that the Methodist Camp Meeting was founded near its present location, on Cherokee Creek near Chappel Community in San Saba County. The camp meeting has been held every year without any interruption since 1858; that's 150 years of faith and stewardship.
The Civil War in the 1860s did not shut the Methodist Camp Meeting down; nor did all the wars since then. The Great Depression didn't even stop it. The Methodist Camp Ground has been witness, along with Texas and the rest of the world, to many historic national and world events.
We've seen great leaders like Sam Houston; great cowboys like Bill Pickett; storied cattlemen like Charlie Goodnight; inspiring military leaders like Audie Murphy and Dwight Eisenhower; historic events like the walk on the moon; and gifted men such as Dr. Michael DeBakey with great medical breakthroughs; just to name a few of the thousands. We have witnessed tragedy as well: killer hurricanes and floods; flu and polio epidemics; and shameful acts such as a presidential assassination.
We have been witnesses to great movements and changes in America: Prohibition; the Women's Suffrage Movement; and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The point of all this is: all of these things have come and gone, but the Camp Meeting is still going on!
Dr. Stan Cosby, senior pastor of St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Amarillo, will be the evangelist for this year's camp meeting. Rev. Cosby has close ties to this revival as he is married to the former Susan Carson who is a descendant of the Tate Family, one of the founding families of the camp meeting. The theme for this year's camp meeting is "Roll, You Mighty River, Roll!"
Special music will be provided by Johnny Ray Watson, who is engaged in full-time Christian music ministry. He has performed for the Billy Graham Crusades, "America for Jesus" rallies, the Moody Bible Institute, Bill Glass Prison Ministries, as well as numerous other churches and organizations.
Services are set to begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 14th. There will be services each night at 8 p.m. through Sunday evening, August 17th, which marks the end of the revival. On Sunday, there will be Sunday School at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. A covered dish lunch will follow the Sunday morning worship service.
Members of Bend United Methodist Church, hosts for the event, encourage everyone to attend and receive a blessing in word and song. For information or directions, call Bend United Methodist Church at 325/628-3599 or 325/628-3290.