In the 1800s, after the crops were in the ground and with both a desire for spiritual nurture and social interaction, our pioneering forefathers began to come together during summer weeks. I am told these earliest “encampments” were first in Kentucky and spread from there.
Shortly after the Church of the Nazarene was formed in Ohio, a campground was bought in Columbus. Later, when the Ohio District was divided into the Central and Western districts, the “westerners” wanted their own campground. Hence, in 1947 a 60-acre property were purchased in St. Marys.
In September of 1948 the first service was held, and in the summer of 1949 the first “camp meeting” took place. For 70 years “camp meeting,” along with children’s and youth camps, have been held on that site every year.
Many people testify they came to personal saving faith in Jesus Christ, or completely consecrated themselves to God’s will and were sanctified wholly at the altars of the St. Marys tabernacle. (We still have and use those original altars.) For others “camp” provided many other life-changing events , including a number of young couples who first met and fell in love here. For many more there are just those memories of little things that amount to “big things.” (I am mindful as I write this, however, that memories are only made because experiences were first had.)
This year “The Gathering” will be from June 10-17. You can find much more information on this website by clicking the links within the “sliders” at the top of the homepage. So, I hope to see you here.
We come with much tradition, and even more expectation. Ours is not a dying “camp meeting” but one of life and vitality. This eight-day event is filled with services of tremendous preaching and sincere worship, recreation, food, friends, inspiration, laughter, ice cream, tears, inspiration and those sure-to-come-but-you-just-don’t-know-when “God moments.”
I am grateful I will get to be here for it all. I hope you will be able to join us. Come for a service, or come for all week.