In about the year 1808 the first Baptists immigrated into southern Alabama. Holcombe, one of the earliest Baptist historians tells us that the meeting houses were more like wigwams than anything else, and the preachers often preferred to stand outside under the trees to preach and pray.
The first camp meeting in Alabama Baptist history, began on this day in 1831, and like our family camp, twelve or fifteen families tented on the grounds for five or six days. That same historian tells us that God came down upon those people in great power. “The groans and cries of repenting sinners, the songs and prayers, the shouts and praises of Christians, formed an awful, and yet delightful harmony.” Over the next twelve months the Holy Spirit blessed that congregation along with two others, and there were about 500 people saved and then baptized. Then came a period, which the historian called “a time of winnowing,” after which some of the professing believers left, just as some did during the ministry of the Saviour, but of the rest “it was clearly demonstrated that there was much good wheat among them.”
I’m not excited about potential “chaff,” but wouldn’t it be wonderful if some day the rest of this story could be said about Calvary Baptist, Post Falls, Idaho and our “camp meeting” in 2024?