Plans are underway by members of the Bend United Methodist Church at Bend, Texas, to hold a one-night camp meeting service on Friday, August 14, at 8 p.m. at the historic churchowned campground located at 1082 CR 432 near the Chappel Community in San Saba County. The camp meeting was begun in 1858 and has been held each year since then, making this the 162nd year. Through good weather and foul, wars and peace, and even the flu pandemic of 1918, the camp meeting has continued. In deference to the pandemic that has struck our country this year, the members decided that only one night, with safety limitations, would suffice to continue the tradition. Members and guests are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing. As the tabernacle is open on all sides and there is plenty of room to spread out, visitors may bring their own chairs and sit outside if they prefer. A meal will not be served as in the past.
Pastor for the event is Reverend Larry Shores of Leander. This is Larry’s second visit as pastor of the annual camp meeting. He was born in Hannibal, Missouri, where he attended public school. He attended college at the University of Missouri, graduating in 1972. He was licensed as a Methodist pastor in 1970.
Reverend Shores has served a wide range of churches: country churches in Missouri and Texas, inner-city churches, bluecollar working-class churches, small-town churches, growing suburban churches in Leander and Missouri, and metropolitan urban churches in Austin and San Antonio.
He is a gifted preacher and has always lived by John Wesley’s motto that “the world is my parish.”
Retiring from full-time ministry in 2011 after 40 years of being a parish pastor, he has remained active in one ministry or another. He ran a Care Ministry for Leander United Methodist Church until the COVID-19 shutdown. He helped operate a medical ministry for families without medical insurance in Leander and Cedar Park. Another successful ministry was organizing a team of volunteers in establishing The Sanctuary, an Alzheimer’s Respite Care ministry in south Austin.
Reverend Shores is married to the former Kathy Diehl. They have three children, now grown, middle-aged adults. He also has three adult grandchildren.
For information on the one-night camp meeting, call Reverend Tim Brewer at Bend UMC 325-628-3599 or 361-571-5676.