South Union Campmeeting 2006The 135th Campmeeting was held here at South Union Campground on July 21 - 26, 2006. Our leadership this year included two men who grew up in Ackerman as best of friends and participated in South Union Campmeeting as young people. Rev. Buddy Smith from American Family Association and Mt. Pleasant UMC of Tremont was our preacher and Derry Brunt of FUMC Grenada was our song leader. The pianists were Elizabeth Rester during the day and Janees Garey at the evening services and Sunday morning. Tommy Hamill of Macon shared his riveting testimony and story of Escape in Iraq on Saturday, the Joyful Noise Quartet took us to the heights of worship on Sunday night, The Wells Family from Noxapater was a great blessing to all on Tuesday as well as many other special musical artists during the week. A glorious time was experienced by everyone. Please plan now to join us for Campmeeting 2007!
Campmeeting takes us back to a simpler time; just good old-fashioned worship of God under the open arbor with hymns like, “I’m Dwelling in Beulah Land,” “Revive Us Again” and “Love Lifted Me.” Campmeeting affords us the opportunity to worship and to teach our children to worship in the same place our ancestors did, in the same way. We can go back to a single, uncomplicated time and place and always know that God is with us and He loves us.
South Union: 135 years of tradition and fun enjoyedChoctaw Plaindealer – 8/06
The 135th annual campmeeting at South Union came to an end on Wednesday, July 26, 2006. Once again, folks from far and wide gathered to celebrate...traditions, family, friends, community, and most of all, their religion.
The schedule of services (four a day) included sermons by Brother George Buell, pastor at South Union, as well as talks by Buddy Smith and visiting preachers. Special music had a place at every service. Friday was hot, but relief followed on Saturday by way of heavy rains and cooler temperatures. Cloudy skies continued to cool the area, along with a light breeze.
In spite of the downpour Saturday night, a crowd of about a hundred gathered to hear Thomas "Tommy" Hamill talk of his capture and eventual escape from those who held him against his will while working in Iraq. The thunderstorm seemed to set the mood for the talk.
While listening to Hamill speak, the phrase "everything happens for a reason" kept creeping into the thoughts of those listening. It was more than coincidence that Hamill had chance meetings with various people, that events seem to prepare him for his situation, and that his faith gave him the courage to endure.
Sunday morning, early in the service, a comment was made about the Saturday night gathering. "Y'all missed a baptism service last night." Questioning looks prompted the follow-up comment, "Due to the storm, we were all soaked from head to toe!" Giggles and laughter followed.
During Buddy Smith's talk, emotions ran high. There was talk of the "old days" and contrast to current lifestyles. Smith spoke fondly and emotionally about his family's ties to South Union and to campmeetings.
As with other campmeetings, time between services was spent relaxing, visiting, and, of course, eating. Sitting in the breezeways, with fresh sawdust or wood shavings on the ground, it was not difficult to imagine campmeetings a century ago.
Ms. Thelma Moss was especially missed at campmeeting this year. Many of the services were being taped so she could enjoy the events, in spite of not being able to attend. The three Moss sisters are perennial fixtures at campmeeting.
Although everything is quiet again at South Union, Choctaw County still has two more campmeetings just around the corner. Bethsalem Presbyterian and Old Lebanon Presbyterian Campmeetings are ready to start. Join the fun and fellowship at one of our campmeetings. These unique experiences should be enjoyed and the memories treasured.