In 1963, Bossie Wadsworth and Lee Edwin Knight were talking about building tents on the west side of the campground. Then Ted White and Jimmy Rhodes decided to build tents also. Before the day was over 7 men had decided to build tents, which is now called “The Motel”. The list included Billy Rhodes, Lee Edwin Knight, Ted White, Ned White, Bossie Wadsworth, and Joe Warren. Jack White and Billy Sowell added later. Good times and fond memories were made with our bunch of kids (27 total). We moved the stove, refrigerator, dishes, and mattresses, everything to Campmeeting and then we would move it back home. It was worth it! Little boys would build roads through the woods with their Tonka trucks bought new just for Campmeeting. The boys would walk on the trusses inside the tents from one tent to another unbeknown to us until we and looked up and saw them. Never a dull moment! Sometimes moved on Thursday before Campmeeting started just so the children could play and for us to adults visit. Special times for families to bond together and make precious memories that have lasted for a life time. We are so thankful to the Lord for those good old days.
Betty “Jimmy” Rhodes
Teenage boys would put watermelon rinds under the back car tires. The cars would just sit and spin.
The Campmeeting before Ted and I married, the bell would be rung every night and everyone kept saying to us “ya’ll keep quit ringing the bell so late at night”. So the last night of Campmeeting, Ted “drags” me up there and rang the bell, and said “Now, we ARE ringing the bell”!
Sometimes it was kinda hard to get between those pews in the choir to ring the bell. You would get caught in between them.
Judy White told of a time when someone rang the bell late one night and her niece, Ashley, woke her up and asked, “Do we have to go to the tabernacle again?”
Robert Warren, Randy Knight, Kevin Rhodes, Richard Warren and not sure who else, would tie a very thin string to the rope and run it all the way into the cemetery. They would hide there and pull it and ring the bell. People would be looking out to see who was ringing it but nobody would be there. They thought it was the ghost of Campmeeting.
Keith Hodges created the scenery around the springs. He worked tirelessly on his own. He would start weeks ahead of Campmeeting to get everything in order. He worked on it late at night when it was cool. It looked like it should be in Southern Living Magazine. He built the steps going to the springs too.
I remember hearing a story about a preacher that was telling all the parents to “keep their kids away from the springs; your kid is gonna fall in the spring and get hurt”. About that time, someone came and said, “Preacher, your kid just fell in the spring”.
A number of tentholders had chicken pens out behind the tents. They would bring the chickens to Campmeeting alive then prepare as necessary for fried chicken, etc. The large roosters were an automatic alarm clock. They welcomed each new day with a lot of crowing. Common games of the day were horseshoes, washers, red light, and red rover. We had a bad injury one year with red rover and to do this day, I do not like that game. In the 50’s and 60’s, most tents had a sawdust floor and a few had a sawdust floor throughout the tent. The motel was built in 1963 with 7 families. After the main construction, numbers were drawn to determine which tent each family would get.
Betty “Jimmy” Rhodes
As a youngster at Campmeeting I well remember Mrs. Mary, Mrs. Willa Dean & Maw Mae and I’m sure others that I used to sit out in front of their tent shelling beans they had picked that morning. I remember the other adults going around with their dishpan in hand helping each other shell their beans. There was much fellowship going on at each tent. I hated having to go home and pick peas, cause I was afraid of missing something, but it was nice to know that when I got back to the campground there would be somebody waiting with their dishpan to help me shell peas.
This is one story that I will always remember about Campmeeting.