Area Methodists will host camp meeting beginning Sunday at Sulphur Springs site

Published 8:37 am Friday, August 3, 2018

Area United Methodists and their neighbors will worship together August 5-8 for the 199th consecutive year during a camp meeting in Sulphur Springs, near Jonesborough.
The Rev. Micah Nicalous, senior pastor of Broad Street United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Tenn., will be the guest speaker for the series of meetings.
Nicalous, a native of Canada, is the son of a Lutheran pastor. He has lived in Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska, Texas and Tennessee. He and his wife, Kim, have been married 21 years and have two sons, Andrew, 10, and Thomas, 8.
Nicalous is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He served as a youth director in Texas for 12 years and has served appointments in the Holston Annual Conference at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Lighthouse United Methodist Church in Ooltewah, and Central United Methodist Church in Lenoir City. He currently serves on the Board of Ministry and the Conference Strategy Team in the Holston Conference. He believes the story of God’s love through Jesus is the greatest hope for the world, and is blessed to serve with the people of the United Methodist Church in Holston Conference.
The Sunday through Wednesday evening gatherings occur at the historic camp shed in front of Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church, located on State Highway 75 about six miles south from Interstate 26, Gray-Appalachian Fair exit. (The campshed is located at 1432 Gray Sulphur Springs Road, Jonesborough).
Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., a youth gathering will be held in the campshed led by the Rev. Nicalous. At 4 p.m., the camp meeting will begin with a Rise Against Hunger Food Packing Event. Volunteers will gather from 4 to 6 p.m. to assemble 10,000 meals to be sent to help feed the hungry. Anyone wishing to volunteer may do so by calling Michael Vaughn at 423-833-2909 or at
Each evening, congregational and special groups, including Munsey Memorial UMC, Rockingham Road Bluegrass Band, Sulphur Springs Praise Band and a District Mass Choir, will present special music, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the worship service to immediately follow.
A nursery will be available for infants through age three each evening in the Family Life Center.
A special children’s program will be held on Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. for children ages 5-9 consisting of Bible stories and Bible verses, singing, games and much more. A light meal will be served to the children.
All events are free and open to all who wish to attend, although opportunities to make offerings will be provided.
Both the campshed and the worship held on the site have played critical roles in the development of Methodism in Southern Appalachia. As early as 1802, Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal that he had attended a camp meeting in the area, with more than 1,500 people present. Most likely, Asbury attended a meeting held in a brush arbor. The gathering was formally organized in 1820, with the shed being built in 1842.
The shed was rebuilt in 1900, but the original hand-hewn logs were incorporated into the new structure and still can be seen today.
Originally, families traveled far to worship three times a day at the site for four or five days. Their long stays led to the construction of a series of cabins around the shed. These were torn down in the early 20th century as transportation improved and meetings became shorter.

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