Chattahoochee Valley Baptist Camp Meeting kicks off Monday

Published 6:46 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019

VALLEY — For more than 20 years now, people driving along Highway 29 near Valley High School have seen a huge tent going up on the grounds of Emmanuel Baptist Church in early March. It’s that time of year again, and that big tent will be going up again on Saturday morning.

It’s the 21st annual Chattahoochee Valley Baptist Camp Meeting, an event that will draw people of faith from all over the United States. Old-fashioned preaching and gospel singing will take place starting Monday, March 11 and will continue through Thursday, March 14. The main services will be at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day. Some of the out-of-town guests will be staying in RVs on site and others in local hotels.

The four-day event is being sponsored by Evangelist Ronnie Trenton and Valley Gospel Ministries, Lanett.

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“I’ve traveled all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” Trenton said. “This October will be my 50th year in the ministry. It’s been a wonderful experience to bring the word of God to people all over.”

The Camp Meeting is held on a love offering basis. No one is under obligation to give, but many do to keep it going every year.

“We want the community to understand that it’s more than a one-church event,” Trenton said. “People see the tent here at Emmanuel Baptist, and they think it’s something for this one church, but it’s more than that, and we welcome everyone. We’ve had people coming from the walking trail and others saw the tent while traveling along the highway.”

It takes approximately 35 people to put up the tent. “It’s a good 80 feet across,” Trenton said. “If we had the chairs, we could easily get between 500 and 700 people under it.”

Pastors, evangelists, missionaries and singers from at least 10 states will be coming this year. The guest list includes the Rev. Tim Felleur of Milton, Florida, a Bible press minister who prints Bibles and sends them all over the world; Jacob Parchman, who runs a prison ministry in Arkansas; Ken Avery, who has a prison ministry in Tennessee; Jacob Davidson of Senoia, Georgia, who has performed all over the U.S;  former Grand Ole Opry performer Jerry Monday; and The Ellis Family, bluegrass-style gospel singers from Mississippi is expected as well.

“We have some truly great piano players coming,” Trenton said. “Those who come to this will be blessed. My phone has been ringing off the hook for the last month or so. It takes time to get this together, and it gets really busy come the first of March. We have to work on it all year long, but this is the busiest period.”

Many of the singers who will be coming can be heard on on WEBT 91.5.

“We have it online around the world,” Trenton said. “Tim Foster manages it for us. WEBT is an unusual station. We also have a man coming from North Carolina who’s online. He’ll help us get out what’s going on here.”

“We will have a Desert Storm veteran here to talk to fellow veterans,” Trenton said. “There are many veterans with spiritual problems, and he’s good at talking to them. Russell Kenman is an Army veteran. He’s a real friend to the veterans, and I don’t know what we’d do without him.

“We will have from 20 to 25 preachers here during the week,” Trenton continued. “Three crews of women will be cooking for us. We will be serving food at 1 p.m. and will have supper after the service. There are so many people who help us out in so many ways. I couldn’t thank them all, but I know God will bless them.”

The tent will be going up at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to be erected. “It’s an amazing thing to see it go up,” said Ray Fuller, a long-time Camp Meeting supporter.