Meridian Herald will present its 15th annual Higher Ground: Camp Meeting Service on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Falany Performing Arts Center on the campus of Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga. The camp meeting will feature old-time preaching, prayer, and singing. A lecture about camp meetings by Dr. E. Brooks Holifield will begin at 2 p.m., and will be followed by a panel discussion. Special music will begin at 3:30 pm. After the camp meeting, attendees will enjoy warm fellowship and refreshments in the Center's Ken White Atrium. Admission is free for all events, and an offering will be taken during the camp meeting. Everyone is welcome.
Candler Professor of American Church History Emeritus at Emory University Dr. E. Brooks Holifield will preach for the camp meeting. A renowned scholar and compelling preacher, he speaks the language of the South with prophetic strength. Prior to the camp meeting, he will also give a lecture, “The Camp Meeting in American Culture,” followed by an academic panel discussion at 2 p.m. in Room 132 of the Falany Performing Arts Center.
The camp meeting will be preceded by 30 minutes of music, including time-honored gospel hymns, camp meeting spirituals and choral arrangements of classic hymns sung by the Meridian Chorale and soloists, conducted by Dr. Steven Darsey.
Camp meetings began in the 19th century South, when farmers, after the crops were laid by, would go "camping” with their families and friends for a week or more. The days and evenings were filled with fiery preaching and impassioned singing. Camp meetings spread throughout the South and became an integral part of the region’s cultural and spiritual traditions. Many camp meetings continue today, and the participants look forward with loving devotion to the familial, social and spiritual renewal of their annual camp meetings.
“Some of the songs we sing have been passed down orally, virtually unchanged from the Great Awakening of the early 19th century," Darsey said. "The loving devotion with which generations of frontier folk sang these songs renders them ‘doubly sacred’ to us today. In our times of financial and social turmoil, this service of hallowed spiritual traditions invites our return to the tried and true and to our renewed faith in God’s providence. On this foundation, may we proceed with confidence through the challenges ahead.”
Reinhardt's Concert Choir will also perform two selections. As the institution's primary choral performing ensemble for more than 30 years, the Concert Choir has long been a popular ambassador for the University. With more than 90 voices, their repertoire rangers from the Renaissance to the best of today's contemporary anthem literature.
Meridian Herald creates concerts and services built on musical, literary and religious traditions of the South. Founded by Dr. Steven Darsey in 1997 and reflecting his unique vision, the Meridian Chorale, including some of the region’s finest singers, performs repertoire of aesthetic and moral purpose. The 2011 season brought a sold-out performance of African American concert music at Emory’s Schwartz Center with the Meridian Chorale and the Morehouse Glee Club and more than 500 children singing at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Through inspiring concerts and transforming services, Meridian Herald has become a vital cultural voice in the South.
Waleska, Ga., is about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta and easily accessible from I-75 and I-575. Free parking is available adjacent to the Center and on the Reinhardt campus. For directions >
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