By Natalie Simms
Nestled in eastern Floyd County, Morrison Campground has been a place of spiritual revival and memory-making for generations of families across the Southeast for the last 150 years. The Christian revival church camp meets this week as it has every July for 10 days for “old fashion arbor-style” revivals and Bible School.
“I’m almost 56 and I’ve never missed a camp meeting,” says Laura Dowdy, chairman of the Campground’s 150th Anniversary committee. “It is just a great fun time that we all look forward to every year. Even the kids who have grown up at camp meeting look forward to it because they can play all day and be unplugged from technology…its just a unique experience for them.”
Morrison Campground was established in 1868 on property donated by Mr. E.R. Morrison. “It started just after the War Between the States as a place for people to come worship. We are solely run by donations. And our bylaws state that as long we have a camp meeting, then the property will continue to be owned by the Methodist Conference. But if it ever stops, it goes back to the Morrison Family,” says Dowdy.
Families come from all over Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Kentucky to come for camp meeting. There are 28 cabins and one permanent camper for 29 families that stay on property for the entire camp meeting. However, all events are open to the public.
“There is no air-conditioning in the cabins. We only stay in them to sleep and maybe eat. Otherwise, we are on the front porch catching up with everyone we haven’t seen since last camp meeting,” she says. “The cabins are passed down from generation to generation. We even have a waiting list for those who would like to purchase one.”
The camp meeting averages some 200 to 250 people each night depending on the speaker and musical entertainment. Featured speakers come from a variety of denominations, so “everyone is welcome to come worship.”
This year’s festivities kicked off Friday night and will continue through next Sunday, July 22. Click here for full schedule of events.
Schedule of speakers/music:
- Today: Dr. Gil Watson, teaching minister at Rome First United Methodist Church.
- Tonight: Dr David Naglee, district superintendent of the Rome Carrollton district.
- Monday: Reverend Matt Duvall, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Rome.
- Tuesday: Lieutenant Colonel William G. Mockabee, the program secretary of The Salvation Army, US Southern Territory. The Salvation Army band will also perform.
- Wednesday: Reverend Mike Garrett, pastor of Dykes Creek Baptist Church. The Dykes Creek Baptist Church Choir will sing.
- Thursday: The Adorations
- Friday morning: Georgia Mountain Pickers
- Friday night: Reverend Zach Mathis will be preaching our youth service.
- Saturday: Guntersville First Baptist Church Pickers.
- Sunday, July 22: Reverend Robin Lindsay, retired elder in the North Georgia United Methodist Conference.