Hartselle Camp Meeting
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
119 Years and Counting!

History



The Tabernacle -
Seen here in the 1970's.

A Rich Tradition...
 
The Hartselle Camp Meeting began 118 years ago as an annual revival meeting, originally lasting 11 days, with 3 preaching services each day. The purpose was to proclaim faith in Jesus Christ and a lifestyle of scriptural holiness. Since then, the facilities and surroundings have changed, but the heart of the Camp has not. Wagons and mules brought early campers onto the grounds, and families cooked their meals around a campfire. In the early days, the railroad ran through the middle of the Camp!
 
In more recent years, the Camp Meeting was shortened to an 8 day event. The afternoon service was dropped, and the Board of Directors decided to use the grounds throughout the year. This was a major change from the previous 100 years! In 2013, the Hartselle Camp Meeting shortened again - to a 6 day event (current length). The goal was to draw more people to the morning and evening services and make lasting impact in the lives of all who attend. It has worked!
 
For many years, there were 52 wooden cabins built in rows on the hillside. These were occupied by attendees to the annual summertime Camp Meeting. Recently, all but 9 of those cabins were auctioned off, leaving room to build newer, modern lodging and meeting space for the Camp to use. All remaining Cabins will be fully refurbished (air conditioning, insulation, new plumbing and wiring) in the very near future!
 
 

Click Here to view the research paper "Be Ye Perfect: The Hartselle Camp Meeting and the Persistence of Revivalism in the South" by Peter Harrison Branum, Auburn University, June 1, 1990.
 

 
The Pulpit under the rustic Tabernacle has been home to some of the finest preachers in the nation. A few of those names include:
  • Harry Blackburn
  • Lon Woodrum
  • Jon Tal Murphree
  • David Watson
  • Clark Pope
  • John M. Barrett
  • Elton Jones
  • Tilford Junkin
  • John Lakin Brasher
  • Roy T. McKinney
  • G. Stuart McWhirter
  • Keith Pope
  • John Ed Mathison
  • Tom Tanner
  • Gary Case
  • Paul Lawler
  • Dean Jones
  • Junior Hill
  • Henry Clay Morrison
  • Phil Waldrep
  • Rob Cain
  • Mike Pope
  • Tommy Gray
  • Robert Sparkman
  • Mark Nysewander
  • George Mathison

The rustic Tabernacle has been declared a Historic Landmark in the state of Alabama. The cedar posts that were first erected in 1899 are still supporting the building today! The Camp Meeting has been known for its great food, warm fellowship, and dynamic preaching. Hundreds of people have been saved around the wooden altar on the old "sawdust trail", and countless people have entered the ministry or mission field from there.
 
Anthony J. Showalter, who wrote the incredible hymn Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, served as Music Evangelist at the Camp Meeting at the turn of the nineteenth century. In the early 1970's, the Hartselle Camp Meeting Association adopted that song as our official camp "anthem"!
 
In 2001, the old screened-in cafeteria was demolished, and a new, air-conditioned Dining Hall was opened. Renovations have been made to provide adequate, air-conditioned lodging and meeting space for Youth & College-aged students in the new Puckett Youth Dormitory (opened in June, 2008). The Dining Hall, Youth Dormitory, and Main Tabernacle can be rented for use by churches near and far!
 
In 2008, a local production company called Studio 125 filmed a pilot for a family-oriented show on the grounds of the Hartselle Camp Meeting. The 30-minute show features kids at Camp, and includes both live footage and state-of-the-art animation.
 
In addition to this, in 2007 the Tabernacle was recognized as a recipient of the Hallelujah Trail Award, signifying 100 or more years of operation as a church or religious entity. The National Geographic magazine included the Hartselle Camp Meeting in its publication of "must-see" stops on the tour. We are Site # 21 on the Hallelujah Trail!
 
Our history is indeed rich, but the best days at the Hartselle Camp Meeting are truly still to come...
 
 

The Passing of a Giant


On September 2, 2008, Harry Puckett went home to be with the Lord. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Anne, and his four children, Harriet, Jean, Ron, and Don. For 16 years, Harry served as President of the Hartselle Camp Meeting, providing leadership during an era of success that is remembered by all as the "good old days".
 
More recently, Harry served the Camp Meeting as President Emeritus, attending Board Meetings and giving quality leadership. The new Youth Dormitory was named in honor of Harry and Margaret Anne Puckett in 2008.
 
Today, Margaret Anne continues to serve on the Board of Directors. She labored for the Camp Meeting faithfully for 16 years as the Dining Hall Director. 

 
 
If you would like to make a financial contribution in memory of Harry Puckett, please mail it to:
 
Hartselle Camp Meeting Association
Attention: Bob Sittason, Treasurer
P.O. Box 163
Hartselle, AL 35640