Camp Meeting 2024: Full Report

Camp Meeting 2024: Full Report

Charlene Brown

In a world where we are taught to plan ahead with 2-, 5-, and 10-year goals, it can be difficult to slow down. With so much around us telling us to follow our hearts, it can become confusing to discern God’s voice, which is all the more reason to pause, worship and meet with like-minded persons. A time to honestly ask ourselves if we are moving in sync with Jesus.

The North England Conference (NEC) provided this opportunity when it hosted the 2024 Camp Meeting from May 29th through June 2nd. These five days were spent at the Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre in Stafford, where attendees were filled with His Spirit to then, as the theme song said, "go ye therefore and teach all nations."

The week’s program was filled with sermons, workshops and activities, all catering to differing age groups. The Children's Ministries team, led by Pastor Ikwisa Mwasumbi and Maxine Campbell, engaged the children with Bible stories, activities, and a special performance on Sabbath.

The teens not only listened to compelling sermons each morning but also spent time building relationships with their pastoral team and guest speaker. Pastor Kwame Sarpong visited from the South England Conference and shared how he was blessed by the teens program. Each day, Pastor Derek Simon, NEC Teens Sponsor, planned activities in the area, allowing the young people to have have "real talks.”

Pastor Micah Campbell, NEC Youth Director, alongside the Youth Advisory, planned a program that stuck in the youths’ minds, giving them gems to take home and implement in their lives. In every program, the youth were asked what they had learned from the previous sermon that was delivered by Pastor Abraham Henry. Listening to the youth shout out quotes from Pastor Henry and explain what it meant to them specifically, as well as how it could help them individually, was a blessing to the team, who worked hard to prepare something that would impact rather than entertain.

The adults were blessed by the roster of speakers. Dr Marcus Harris, who currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maryland, ministered each evening. Pastor Ted and Cynthia Huskins of the Atlantic Union delivered the workshops for “Midday Manna,” filling delegates with daily bread on stewardship. Cynthia reminded the congregation that "stewardship is more than money; it is also relationship." Morning Manna, led by Dr Monique Glover-Alves, a Staff Chaplain and Coordinator of Spiritual Ambassadors at Advent Health Altamonte Hospital in Florida, began the day inspiring the attendees to walk away from Camp Meeting saying to the Lord, “Send me, use me at all times."

Each afternoon, directors and sponsors from the NEC and British Union Conference facilitated workshops on health, family, women’s, men’s, publishing, prayer ministries, and Adventist-Muslim relations. The workshops offered practical, spiritual advice for delegates to use in their everyday lives.

Every day brought something special for delegates. Friday evening was no different, which included a Camp Meeting tradition: Communion.

Another special and integral part of each service was the music. Joel Robinson, NEC Music Sponsor, brought together gifted young people who filled the programs with a sweet sound every day. This concluded on Sabbath with an evening concert. The praise teams from each room came together along with Bethany Baker, Andrea Rashford-Hewitt and the Tutley Twins, to name a few. A twist to the concert was the devotional by Pastor Huskins, who reiterated the message of Camp Meeting: to go forward in His steps. Pastor Huskins weaved a story of a young man who was a lifesaver when he rescued a young child and, in turn, saved his own life when they met as adults and came together as husband and wife. The concert ended with "How Excellent Is Your Name," a reminder of the God we serve and the work He is willing to do through us if we give ourselves over to Him.

Camp Meeting catered to more than one need. The Family Ministries department provided face-to-face counseling sessions. The Prayer Ministries department made themselves available to pray throughout the day. There was room for individual prayer, group prayer and requests that would be continually prayed for. Walking through the grounds, you could see the prayer team praying with the young and old. The Adventist Book Centre was also onsite throughout the week.

With such a packed program, it was helpful to have meals catered onsite by Yarnfield. Delegates didn't need to worry about preparing meals, which some commented made it easier to attend all the programs.

While some could not attend in person, they were not left out, as most services in the adult room and all services in the youth room were live-streamed, garnering positive feedback from viewers. One individual commented, "It was absolutely brilliant to have Camp Meeting streamed as I was unable to attend."

As the Sabbath program came to an end, Pastor Kumi, NEC President, led the vote of thanks. Many worked together to ensure that this Camp Meeting was successful in being a space of reflection and spiritual awakening. Elder Winsome Baadjes, an NEC Bible Worker, commented, "The most important thing I gained from Camp Meeting was the spiritual revival that watered my soul and the fellowship with brethren. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was felt in this place."

Camp Meeting 2024 was a time of profound spiritual renewal and fellowship. As delegates returned to their homes, they carried with them the lessons and inspiration to continue their journey in Jesus' steps, empowered to minister to others.