LETART — A 100-year tradition will take place in the Bend Area when the Union Camp Meeting marks it’s centennial gathering July 11 through 17.
To further commemorate the event, the camp meeting will coincide with the opening of the Union Church time capsule, which was last opened in 1986, but first filled in 1886.
Pastor John Bumgarner said this year’s camp meeting will be held at 7 p.m. nightly at the Union Church on Barlow Road in Letart, and not at the campground as usual. The first evening, he will be telling the history, and the time capsule will be opened by Bailee Bumgarner.
Bailee is the sixth generation of the Bumgarner family, following Lewis, Taylor, Oris, Jim and Rodney Bumgarner. According to Bailee’s mom, Lisa, the time capsule has always been overseen by the Bumgarner family and stored on their farm.
First filled in 1886, the time capsule was opened in 1936, and again in 1986. Among items in the capsule is a banner with names of the charter members of the Union Class of 1886. Although it has not been another 50 years, it was decided to open the capsule after 35 years, due to the camp meeting 100th anniversary. The first known minutes regarding the camp meeting were recorded in 1921, according to John Bumgarner.
Providing music the first evening will be The Next Level Band.
Speakers and singers the remaining nights will be Chaplin Powell on Monday, with Travis Cullen providing music; Josh Oldaker both speaking and singing on Tuesday; Josh Waybright speaking on Wednesday with Heavens Call singing. On Thursday and Friday, Greg Collins will be speaking, with the singers to be announced on Thursday, and Sammy Doolittle on Friday. The final night will be gospel music night with Grace Renewed singing.
Union Camp Meeting services are non-denominational and the public is invited. For more information, contact John Bumgarner at 304-675-6937 or go to the Facebook page “Union Campground.”
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her a [email protected]