Camp meeting lithograph

The early Methodist camp meetings were held outdoors for several days with attendees setting up tents around the pulpit. Image by Jacques Gérard Milbert (1766-1840) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

A relaxed atmosphere, old-time hymn singing and personal testimonies from members characterize the January worship services at John Wesley. Worshippers are encouraged to dress casually, call out the hymn selections and hear from fellow Christians about the power of Jesus Christ in their lives.

Visitors are always welcome to join the services which have their roots in early Methodism of 18th century America.

Members who will be speaking this month include

  • January 5 – Tim Beeler
  • January 12 – Rev. Andy Jones
  • January 19 – Allison Chappell
  • January 26 – Coury or Andrea Clements.

The original camp meetings usually took place in rural areas during the summer. People would travel great distances and set up tents to stay for a few days and listen to preaching. Francis Asbury, who saw camp meetings as vital to Methodist evangelism, wrote in a letter dated December 2, 1802, saying the purpose was, “To collect such a number of God’s people together to pray and the ministers to preach, and the longer they stay, generally the better.” Asbury considered the camp meetings as “fishing with a large net”, citing Matthew 4:19 where Jesus told his disciples to follow him and they would become fishers of men.