Meridian Herald will present its 15th annual Higher Ground: Camp Meeting Service on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at 4 p.m. at Reinhardt University, in Waleska, Ga., about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta. The camp meeting, featuring old-time preaching, prayer, and singing, will be held in the Falany Performing Arts Center. After the service, attendees will enjoy warm fellowship and refreshments in the Ken White atrium. Admission is free; an offering will be taken. Everyone is welcome.

Before the service, beginning at 3:30, the Meridian Chorale and soloists, led by Dr. Steven Darsey, will present time-honored gospel hymns, camp meeting spirituals and choral arrangements of classic hymns. Dr. E. Brooks Holifield will preach. Candler Professor of American Church History Emeritus at Emory University, Holifield is a renowned scholar and a compelling preacher, who speaks the language of the South with prophetic strength. In addition to preaching the service, Dr. Holifield will give a lecture, “The Camp Meeting in American Culture,” 2:00 PM in in Room 132 of the Falany Performing Arts Center, followed by a panel discussion. This is also free and open to the public.

Reinhardt University and Meridian Herald dedicate this service in honor of Reinhardt Trustee Emeritus, Paul Anderson, Sr.

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. Darsey states: “Some of the songs we sing have been passed down orally, virtually unchanged from the Great Awakening of the early 19th century. The loving devotion with which generations of frontier folk sang these, 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.”

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.

For more information, please contact Suzi Howard at 404-909-8385

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