Rock Springs Campmeeting
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Denver, North Carolina
200+ years of memories and still going strong...
Welcome to Rock Springs Campmeeting.............
We hope you enjoy this site. It is always under construction and all input is welcome. Please send any pictures and any other information pertaining to Campmeeting and its loyal "Tenters" to address in Contacts. We will try to accommodate all input.
For over two centuries, God has called the people together in worship and community under the Rock Springs’ Arbor. Massive hand cut beams from an era gone have stood powerfully for generations, like stretched arms toward heaven, giving support to the massive roof and shelter to the people. Many of the beams, worn through the ages, finally succumbed to the elements and needed replacement. For nearly a year the Rock Springs’ trustees prayerfully devoted themselves to the careful and loving restoration of the hallowed structure. It now stands with renewed strength; so much, that worshippers for the next two hundred years will give thanks for their faithfulness.
The arbor stands ready to beat with the heart of God. The divine calls us to gather. Throngs will walk around the tents, enjoy meals from the shack, renew old friendships and make new ones; however, the life blood of Rock Springs always has been, and continues to be, the presence of God, especially as it is experienced in worship and song. Why do we still meet in the heat? Why do so many give up modern conveniences to stay night after night in primitive tents? The answer is simple: Rock Springs is a place to encounter the divine. It flows through us and in us, enriching our relationship with the Lord. It also moves us to reach out and invite others to share the experience. Regardless of church denomination or membership, race or ethnicity, all are invited to be a part of the Rock Springs family. Join us under the arbor.
Families and individuals throughout the area would travel to camp together and meet for worship and fellowship. These camp meetings developed into annual events and were held by the Presbyterians, Baptists, Reformed, Protestants and Methodists. Since those early days these camp meetings have all been discontinued except one, the celebrated Rock Spring Camp Meeting of the Methodists in east Lincoln County, North Carolina.
The Rock Spring Camp Meeting traces its roots back to 1794 when a "camp meeting" was held in the woods for several days and nights at the site of the Rehobeth Methodist Church. A Methodist minister named Daniel Asbury from Halifax County, Virginia is credited with starting the camp meeting tradition here. He had been sent to the area to organize a Methodist circuit. That first camp meeting was lead by Mr. Asbury along with William McKendree (who later became a Bishop), William Fulwood, and Dr. James Hall, a noted Presbyterian. The meeting was a great success and accounts of the day indicate that some 300 people were converted at that first gathering.
Following the success of the first meeting, camp meetings were held at that same location for a number of years thereafter. People would travel many miles to attend the annual event, camping in tents, covered wagons, and makeshift shelters of brush. They'd cook over open fires and attend the religious services throughout the morning, afternoon and evening.
In the early 1800's the location of the camp meetings was moved to a site about three miles southwest of the town of Denver. The location, known as Robey's Campground, was located across the highway from the Lowe's Chapel Methodist Church, the site where the Beth Haven Baptist Church now sits.
By the early 1800's the camp meeting had grown to be an annual tradition and in 1828, at the third quarterly conference of the Lincoln Circuit of the Methodist Society, a committee was established to select a suitable site, for lease or purchase, to continue to hold the camp meetings. The Robey's Campground location could not provide an adequate supply of water so the committee selected a site in Denver, NC. According to public records, on August 7, 1830 Joseph M. Monday was paid a total of $90 "in-hand" by Freeman Shelton, Richard Proctor and James Bivings for a tract of land estimated to be 45 acres. The land was held in trust for the Methodist Society of the Lincoln Circuit, otherwise known as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Lincoln Circuit and a Mr. Martin Sigman and a Mr. H Asbury witnessed the transaction. That camp soon came to be known as the Rock Spring Camp Ground, named for the two water-springs located on the site and the large quantity of rocks found around them.
Except for two occasions, the Rock Spring Camp Meeting has been held annually at the Denver, North Carolina site since the land was purchased in 1830. The meeting lasts for one week and takes place around the second Sunday in August. It is attended by all denominations from the surrounding counties by as many as ten thousand to fifteen thousand people. It is a favorite and cherished event of religious significance to the many people that attend; many attribute their conversion to Christianity and finding of faith to these meetings.
The camp is incorporated after the style of a town, and governed much the same way. There is a central meeting pavilion, called the Arbor, which is surrounded by some 258+ "tents". The tents, as they are called, are small; roughly built cabins. They are made from unfinished, weather-beaten wood boards and have dirt floors. Ownership of a lot is conditional, and ceases upon failure to keep and maintain a tent on it. Most all of the tents have been passed down from one generation to the next. A great example of this is one of the very first tents ever built and now assigned the number 1. The tent is made of rough-hewn logs and is still used to this day.
The original "unplugged" show
no air, no heat, no phones,
no TV - only family,
friends, food, and worship.
Contributions are being accepted for repairs that need to be made so that we continue to have a safe place to worship.
Any amount will be greatly appreciated.
Make check payable to:
Rock Spring Campground
mail to address on contact page. Note - REPAIRS