Shady Grove Camp Ground, Transcription

Shady Grove Camp Ground, Transcription

By Daniel W. Patterson

(Arial view zooming down toward the Shady Grove Camp Ground)

TITLE (over a lateral view of the place): 
Shady Grove Camp Ground
Founded in 1870 -

STAN WOODWARD: I began documenting this African American camp meeting in the year 2000 at the invitation of Shell Johnson, who blows the horn of meeting for both the nearby Anglo American camp meeting at Indian Field, and for his own tradition at Shady Grove.

DR. ALYN RIGBY (caption, Elder, Shady Grove Campmeeting): Many years ago, this was a rice plantation. Following immediately after the Civil War, there were a group of people that lived in the Indian Field section. They had nowhere to worship. They wanted to worship. They wanted to be with their families. They wanted to go where they could just praise God in unity, because where there is unity there is strength. Unity brings about strength. Unity brings about love, and here we are working together. So, with the people of this area, they had no church. But they knew about a church, but it was a distance. They had no transportation. The only means by which they could get to that church was to walk. St. Mark was the nearest church of the community. I don't know exactly the miles, maybe seven or eight miles, you know. They walked to St. Mark, and as they walked, they'd just had a good time. They praise God together, and they had a good time together. Following the end of services, they got in the road, and they traveled in route back home. One Sunday--I assume it was a Sunday-- they were caught in a rain. They stopped at this spot--somewhere around this spot, you know--under a shady tree. And as they stood there, a great surprise came to them. Mr. Knight, the plantation owner, approached them.

JUDGE CRANSTON PINCKNEY (caption, Elder & Trustee, Shady Grove Campmeeting): There was a gentleman by the name of Mr. Sam Knight, and he was a rice farmer in this area. And a storm was coming up, that is, if his rice got wet, it's not much good. And a gentleman by the name of Caesar Wolfe was coming by who learned to blow the bugle or the horn as a slave, and he came by, and Mr. Knight promised, told him that we get some people to help him get his rice before it get wet and ruined, he was giving him a spot for, give them a spot rather, for a worship service.

RIGBY: And he was so happy to deed them this piece of property, you know? So then they worshiped under that shady tree for a period of time. They named that spot Shady Grove, you know, because this was their church.

PINCKNEY: And from that day up to the present, it has been actively in service. First on the bush arbor. That's how it got its name, Shady Grove.

REVEREND JOHN ELLIOTT (caption, Head Pastor, Shady Grove UMC & Campmeeting): All of the churches basically started from bush arbors. Bush arbors is just an area where they would cut down some long, large sticks and formulate a little hut and then cover it over with bushes. Large enough to get a group of people in and as they would progress then they would move toward a church later on. But practically, every one started—even this camp ground—started with a bush arbor.

RIGBY: Then from this grew out the tents, the buildings that we have now today.

WOODWARD: And do you see a connection between Caesar Wolfe blowing that horn to call those workers together to save the rice crop and the current day blowing the horn to call people to tabernacle?

PINCKNEY: Yes, I do.

WOODWARD: What's that connection?

PINCKNEY: That connection, there's something when you blow the horn to come to service something good must be coming out of it. Something good came out of the harvesting of the rice crop, and blowing the horn. Something good come out of coming in in a worship service.

WOODWARD: So you see a definite connection between the two?

PINCKNEY: Definitely.

WOODWARD: Something good coming from it?


WOODWARD: Do you think the people at Indian Field see that connection?

PINCKNEY: Yes, I do.

WOODWARD: So it's something you share in common?

PINCKNEY: That's something, something we share in common.

WOODWARD: Judge Pinckney, who first blew the horn for Shady Grove?

PINCKNEY: Caesar Wolfe.

WOODWARD: Who blew it next?

PINCKNEY:  Mike Marion Wolfe.

WOODWARD: And was he Caesar's son?

PINCKNEY: Caesar's son.

LOWTHAR WOLFE (caption, Caesar Wolfe’s descendant): When Caesar finished blowing the horn, you know, then it was passed on down to, to his son. And then from there on down to, you know all the way down to Richard Wolfe, and all the way to Mr. Shell Johnson, you know, all the way down through to the Wolfe family.

WOODWARD: Shell Johnson blows it for you today?

PINCKNEY: Shell is the actual horn blower here today.

WOODWARD: And so he's four generations?


WOODWARD: away from the beginning of blowing the horn?

PINCKNEY: In the Shady Grove Camp Ground.

WOODWARD: When you hear that horn blow, Judge Pinckney, what goes through your mind?

PINCKNEY: There's a service getting ready to begin.

WOODWARD: And when Shell picks that horn up and lifts it and blows it, how do you feel?

PINCKNEY: I feel that something good is going to come out of blowing the horn.

(Shell Johnson blowing the horn, with cut-away to people seated at a tent)

UNIDENTIFIED MINISTER: Good evening, campers. The Saturday afternoon session, session of the annual Shady Grove Camp Meeting, now in session. Please come gather under the stand. Our first minister is about to start.

WOODWARD:  I see you have a New Jersey tag.


WOODWARD:  What draws you back to Shady Grove?

MAN: Coming back home, coming back home, you know, home, you know, and then come around, you know, and worship here.

WOODWARD:  That's a long way to come.

MAN: Yeah, yeah, but a lot of, a lot of my folks are down here.

WOODWARD:  And that draws you back?

MAN: Yes.

WOODWARD:  What is it you love about the Camp Ground?

MAN: Well, this is home, most of my home. You can go away, see different places, but nothing like home.
(singing, over shots of people walking through the camp ground and at their tents)
How far away—
How far away—
How  far away . . .

ELLIOTT: Well, if you start from the very bush arbor and the circuit riders, Wesley, Asbury, and all of the others coming through. And, and of course I like to throw in every once in a while, that there was a black minister that used to follow along with him. And there were many who came out to hear him. His name was Black Harry. You don't, you won't find much in history about Black Harry. But the story is told that in many instances, there were crowds that had gathered to some honorable numbers because Black Harry was preaching. And on many instances they were asked why they were there. They were, they would say, "Because we came to hear Black Harry burn." He always caught afire with the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit. And he was quite emotional and effective in his delivery. And, and those who, who came to Christ. Now that process evolved from the bush arbors to churches. And then the blacks and the whites did worship together in the same sanctuary. But uh, as I pointed out earlier, they sat in the amen, amen corner. Either to the left or to the right and a little, usually one or two seats that were on the left and one or two seats on the right. And they would worship there. And then later they were asked to go in the balcony. And it was that point when the blacks decided that they were going to walk out, and Richard Allen's famous speech about there'll be no balconies in Heaven.
(congregation singing during a service, with shot of cars arriving and people moving about)

I'll fly away when I die,
Hallelujah bye and bye.
I'll fly away, I'll fly away, I'll fly away,
I'll fly away when I die,
Hallelujah bye and bye . . .

UNIDENTIFIED MAN (speaking to John Vlach and others) You know most of the people initially were the farmers that started this. But then as time went on, you know, the people from the city started coming down too, you know, because, well, now you need this, you need to get together. More so now, and then, because of the times and the way things have changed as to—  when there were couple of wagons, it was everybody helped their neighbors. And you know, we're having kind of got away from that. But I think it's starting to come back together that way now so, yeah.

ANOTHER UNIDENTIFED MAN: I was born and raised down here.

WOODWARD: Where did you live?

MAN: It was inherited. I live in Maryland.

WOODWARD: Do you come back down from Maryland?

MAN: Yeah about every other year, I come down.

WOODWARD: What brings you down?

MAN: Family.


ANOTHER UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, we just got some friends of ours who tent out here. And that's how we get connected with it 'cause, we've never tent ourselves. But we just come out here, like to Gladys Sue. And other, a few other people, they invite you.

WOODWARD: Is that kind of how it works though, the people who tent invite their. . .?

MAN: Yes, they invite folk, to come and, you know, and “Will you come and eat supper with me Friday night?” or “You come eat Wednesday night.”  “Can you stop by on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon?” Whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  I can't say what year, but I know, like, our great-grandfather, he was instrumental in starting up the camp ground. So, like, everybody have roots here. So this is home. No matter where you go, this is home.


WOMAN: So I think the family connection is the main thing that pulls everybody back.

WOODWARD: How old were you when you started going?



WOMAN: Yes, sir.

WOODWARD: How old is this baby?

WOMAN: Eleven months.

WOODWARD: She's getting started early learning to sing.
(congregational singing resumes)

I'll fly away, I'll fly away.
When I die Hallelujah bye and bye,
I'll fly away.

WOODWARD (over shots of scholars who will later be interviewed): After documenting the low country camp meetings from a folklife perspective for two years, I realized that what is occurring with these camp meetings is larger and more complex than just the folklife aspects. To help provide a broader perspective and bring their special insights to the telling of this story, I pulled together a team of scholars who could help me understand what I was capturing in my camera from the standpoint of their knowledge and perspective.

I'll fly away, I'll fly away.
When I die hallelujah bye bye. . . .

DR. A. V. HUFF (caption, Historian, SC Methodist Conference, Greenville, SC): You mentioned Asbury's preaching ability. Actually we have some records which indicate he wasn't nearly as spell-binding a preacher, for example, as one of his traveling companions, young African American by the name of Black Harry, who accompanied Asbury on many of his travels. And the stories persist that when Asbury would, would hold a service in a church that very often Black Harry would gather the slaves in the cemetery or in the yard of the church. And that in fact, Black Harry's sermons was so much better than the Bishop's that people would trickle out of the church while the Bishop was preaching. And by the end of the service, Black Harry would have a much larger congregation than Bishop Asbury did. But religion itself helps to preserve those, those traditions. Sometimes they go back a thousand years. I mean, here we are at a camp ground where they blow a horn for services, which reminds us of the ancient shofar that the, that Israelite ancestors used. Here we are in a wilderness place celebrating the same kind of, of tenting around the tabernacle. And certainly the particular Evangelical traditions, primarily of the Methodists and Baptists in the South, are preserved and remembered and practiced in a place like this.

WOODWARD to an unidentified man: Why do you think there's so many camp meetings? There are five camp meetings right around this neighborhood.

MAN: Well, like I said, it's, it's a thing that started long before my time, and and they just been always having them. But I do al--, always knew that they always had black meetings in the fall of the year, you know, ‘bout, 'bout gathering time, when people are practically ending up the farm, and and this was kind of like a celebration for them. That's what it most likely was, celebration for the people who had farmed all the year, you know, and by this time they be 'bout done, gather what they gonna gather, and what they hadn't gathered yet, it wouldn't be much more for them, you know, to get in. Other than that, this was just a time of the year when all of them got together.

HUFF: It's just very hard for people who have never lived in the country to understand the loneliness of an agricultural life, which is what most Southerners experienced for, for most of the past 200, 250 years. People worked very hard on the farm most of the year, sometimes from sunup to sundown. And there was not an opportunity for visiting. People were too tired, and they would sometimes go to town on Saturday when they needed to or go to the local store, or they would go to church on Sunday, if there happened to be a Sunday service at the local rural church. The camp meeting was the annual occasion in which people who had lived in the community together, who had been tenting beside one another for well over a hundred years could get together. Their families would come from all over. There would be an opportunity to renew the community and to participate in those folk ways that made them who they are.
DR. JOHN VLACH (caption, Folklorist, American Studies and Anthropology, George Washington University): That story of Caesar Wolfe connects to the foundation of this meeting. And where did, how did they get this land? How did they know to come out here? And that's that story that connects to origin is, is told repeatedly to remind the people who have come later, how did they get here. It just, it is not merely a matter of, of you get to come because you want to, you almost get, have to come because of the obligations that have been created by heroic acts in the past. And so by coming here one not only connects to a higher moral purpose, one connects to the implicit moral agenda of virtuous ancestors. People who have gone before and by their behavior created this ground, which is here to save you in spiritual terms. But it also can save you in historical terms-- in terms of, of an earth-bound agenda, because the people that were here before acted virtuously very close to this spot, maybe you could even say on this spot, and as you tread this ground, that is, that is now sanctified, it's not merely sanctified by the moral purpose and the moral rituals, the religious rituals that are carried on here, but it's also sanctified by recalling the struggle, the earthbound struggle of people who with courage and with diligence decided that they would make their lives better so that their descendants' lives could be better. And so there is a sort of a requirement to if you belong to this meeting to not only come to God, but also to connect to the ancestral achievement.

DR. HORACE BOYER (caption, Professor Emeritus, Music Theory & African American Music, University of Massachusetts): When did you say this camp meeting started?

JAMES H. WILSON (Director of the Folklife Resource Center at McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina):  1870.

BOYER: But if it started in 1870, that would have been only seven years after Emancipation Proclamation. And this camp meeting then may be one of the earliest all-black camp meetings, since right up until the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks would have attended with whites as their servants. Do you know of other camp meetings, all black, that early in this area?

WILSON: The only other one that I know of was 1873. That was also very early, but if you figure that the whole incident with Caesar Wolfe and the rice, if that happened before 1870, that means that the history of this one goes back even earlier.

BOYER: Well I'm asking because the, the service model would have been by white ministers and by white singers with slaves on the periphery. And then slaves going back to their quarters. I'm thinking what would have changed between the white-oriented services and the black-oriented service. My feeling is that the difference is in the musical interpretation.

BISHOP ROGER BOWMAN, JR.: My name is Bishop Roger Bowman, Jr. I serve as the keyboard musician of the Shady Grove Camp Ground and also St. George Parish, which consists of St. Mark Trinity and Shady Grove United Methodist Churches. I've been out here for quite a while now as a musician. Those are, my two daughters, Rajeta Bowman and Monique Bowman. The music plays a great part in the camp meeting services. We get, we get things started through the music every night.
(brief snatch of congregational singing)

BOYER: Singing historically has been the way that we've documented our existence in the United States. And that's, that's the... We couldn't read. We couldn't write. We had to express ourselves. We had to leave some record of what was going on and how we felt about it. And we would sing through it. So in the camp meeting, the singing actually sets you up. And the fascinating thing is now we have choirs in camp meetings.
(a choir enters the tabernacle)

In the old camp meetings, we had a song leader. And that song leader could grab a hundred or a thousand voices and have them all singing at one time. It was kind of the way, not only to set it up but to express yourselves.
(the choir concludes its performance)


WOODWARD: What's the biggest day after this?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Sunday is the biggest day.

WOODWARD: And how does that affect the cooking?

WOMAN: On Sunday they have a big feast, everything. Fried chicken, ham, roast, potato salad, turkey, macaroni and cheese, rice.

VLACH: Actually the sharing that then comes about when, when other families are invited over from tent between tents and when other members of family that are, that aren't staying here on the camp grounds come in, it expands the population, it extends the feeling of good will, because if people are hungry and you feed them, that replicates the Biblical story of the Sermon on the Mount and then The Last Supper, of the necessity of Christ's command to "Feed My sheep." You want to "Do as I do," you want to "follow Me, then feed My sheep" and the call to salvation that comes in the tabernacle.

UNIDENTIFIED MINISTER: We ask all of our campers to gather under the stand please. The afternoon session is about to begin.

VLACH: You could say it is played out in, in just sustaining people through the, the several days that they're here, that they will not just have regular food, they'll have food of a special nature. The food is fellowship.

WOODWARD: You, you came from Florida?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yeah, I came from Florida, came up here for the camp meeting. But I was born up here. I was born in a little place called Texas, on the other side of St. George, right down the road.

WOODWARD: So you come back and you've brought fish?

MAN: Brought fish. Every year we come back and have a big old camp meeting and some good old fish. We're going to have a fish fry this afternoon, about three o'clock.

WOODWARD: How many people will be there?

MAN: I can't even begin to tell you. I don't even know.

WOODWARD: What's the largest you've ever had?

MAN: Oh. Oh. There's been thousands of people out here. Not at the fish fry, but thousands and thousands of people.

WOODWARD: We getting kind of Biblical here. Cause if you got thousands. I believe there's something. Jesus feeding the multitude. Something's missing.

WOODWARD: What's that?

ANOTHER UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You figure J.C. going to have to do something, if he's going to feed a thousand with that, huh?.

WOODWARD: That's right. Bread and fish.

SECOND MAN: No, he's talking about the amount that would be in the total ground, you know.


SECOND MAN: But he's having fish here, and the tent next door belongs to us—my  cousin here, and he's from Washington. I'm from New Jersey.

WOODWARD: And you've all come back?

SECOND MAN: We born here. We born and raised here. I'm, we're from Bowman.

WOODWARD: So why do you come back every year?

SECOND MAN: Well, it's a traditional thing, you know. You come back, and you meet people that you haven't seen in a long time, and you fellowship. We at night, we go in the middle of the camp ground and listen to the services, and fellowship. Like people come, some come every other year, some come every four or five years, I come every year. So I get a chance to see people that I grew up with and went to school with that I haven't seen in years.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Where's the croaker man? I have to find that croaker man.

SECOND WOMAN: What tent is he ?

FIRST WOMAN: What tent is he, next door?  Croaker man, you have to come over here and give us some of that fresh fish from Florida.

CROAKER MAN: Okay, we gonna do that.

FIRST WOMAN: 'Cause we don't have the Florida fish, okay?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Coming back to camp meeting was difficult this year. It was hard for me because this was my first time coming back to camp meeting since September the 11th. And I lost a sister in the attack on the Pentagon. Her name was Carolyn Holman. And she and I used to be the fore runners from doing preparations for coming down for camp meeting. And so this was the first year I came down. I did start the first weekend, it was hard, but the family tradition, it outweighed, you know, your emotions and things like that. And so coming here, I thought I was going to be like kinda sad or whatever. And it really wasn't like that. It was like, well, this is something she loved to do. This is something we enjoyed doing. You fussed about who has the most workload or whatever, but it was just a part of relaxing, carrying on a family tradition that our mother just instilled in us.

HER SISTER: As far back as I remember, a little girl, we used to have—we would come out, and it was like three or four families. The Washington families.


SISTER: And then it just, when the die.... dying out the older peoples, and then my mother kept it going. And then it passed it on to us.

VLACH (over scenes at various tents): When you're here in the grounds, you can't be missed. Every individual tent is seeable from wherever you stand. You can look across and see that place and know, that's that family. That's there. And I'm going to see them on the grounds. I'm going to see them in the tabernacle. I'm going to be visiting with them in that tent.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: My great-grandparents had this tent, and it wasn't made the way it is today. It was made out of boards. And my, my father's family and his sisters shared this tent. The men stayed at home, and the parents, the mothers, and the children stayed all night.

ANOTHER UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When we build our tent, Mr. Knight, when he gave us the spot to put the tent on, he even built our tent for us and and the other three ladies, he give them a spot. So all four of us was back there.

VLACH: Start of the 21st century, we tend to think forward. And what is this century going to bring us? Where will we be into the future? When you come to a place like Shady Grove, we're looking clearly at the imprint of the past and at a place where people are concerned with where they've come from and how to keep being the people they were and thinking about virtues that they developed in the past and passed on. And as long as the place is here, as long as they don't change the order, as long as they don't remove these tents and don't fill up the space in between that connects the tents to the tabernacle, the imprint of history will stay right here.
(more scenes of a service and the socializing around the tents)

DR. MINUETTE FLOYD (caption, Department of Art, University of South Carolina, Columbia): . . . some of the black and white photographs that I've been taking of camp meeting. And what I'm trying to do is capture the history, the spirit of camp meeting. And one of the ways to do that is by looking at the music and through song. And so I've been capturing different choirs and I'm interested in capturing children and their roles in the camp meeting. This photo was taken last year, here at Shady Grove. And so I wanted to include the middle generation to also document what they do at camp meeting. And of course you can see that food is a very, very important part of camp meeting. This is one of my photographs that shows children and some of the things that they do when they're at camp meeting. They, of course, they socialize with their friends and they, they run around and they make, make up games to play. And this is a good reminder of when I used to attend camp meeting as a young girl, we walked around and talked to our friends. But we also created these games that we played, and the games were played with things that we found on the camp grounds, not necessarily things that you bought at some of the stores, or even the concession stand. Of all of the photos that I've taken so far, this one means, means the most to me, it's the most special because it is of my dad. And I have fond memories of when my brother and sisters and I were young and my parents faithfully took us to camp meeting every year. One of the feelings I have when I step on a campground is of is of ancestors. I always feel like I'm walking, stepping back into time. And it's just a warm, good feeling. And so I, I just cherish the memories that I have of camp meeting. And it's just a tradition that I hope continues because it's so important.

DR. LEO TWIGGS (Professor of Art, South Carolina State University). There's a man coming across that looks like the man in my painting. I looked over the campground and saw those ladies coming. Saw that man coming. And I saw my painting. Let me show you my painting. Coming back lets you know, that you're kind of close to your roots. This painting right there.


TWIGGS: A mother image, father image was one of the first, first motifs that I used in my work. And of course the church aspect of my, of my upbringing was very important to me in my paintings. I brought the painting because it, I think—I wanted to see whether or not it made a connection to this place because I had been at this place back in the sixties and seventies, and I've seen it grow, and I haven't been here for a very long time. And I wanted to see whether or not the connection was still there. This is like turning back into my past, like a place that somehow in my consciousness I have been.

WOODWARD: Tent one eleven?


WOODWARD: Johnson tent?


WOODWARD: And tell me who you are.

CARRIE MAY JOHNSON: I'm Carrie May Johnson. And I'm the mother of the tent.

MARY BOYLE: And I'm Mary Boyle, the oldest daughter.

WOODWARD: You're the oldest daughter?


CARRIE MAY JOHNSON: We likes church, and it's, it's real important, you know, to be, to be in church.

WOODWARD: But what about the food and the fellowship?

CARRIE MAY JOHNSON: It is all good.

MARY BOYLE: The fellowship, when you fellowship with people, you get to meet new people, you get to meet new faces, and you get to see people that you went to school with back in the days. And people that come off from all—my mother's sister’s coming in town. She should get here today from New York. And then her first cousin is here, and she is from New York. So we get to see them 'cause we don't get to see them but once a year.

WOODWARD: So they come back from all, all over, don't they?

MARY BOYLE: Yeah, and my father's here from Washington, D.C. So I don't get to see him but once a year.

WOODWARD: And that's at campmeeting?

MARY BOYLE: Yeah, at campmeeting time.

WOODWARD: Now tell me about tent one eleven. Y'all are on the outside circle here.


WOODWARD: You're not on the inside circle. How did that happen?

CARRIE MAY JOHNSON: Well, when um, when I bought this spot, It wasn't no more spot inside. All the spots was taken, tooken up. So we asked, you know, it was couple on the outside.

WOODWARD: So there were already a couple out here?

CARRIE MAY JOHNSON: Unhunh, and I asked them could I get a spot on the outside? 'Cause I like camp meeting just that good. So that's how I come about getting this tent on the outside.

ELLIOTT: If there was availability of tents, before this afternoon would be out or within the hour, we would—we could have three or four hundred more people who would like, like to come and build tents or to have a spot. But they've closed down the area to the number that they have here, and this was, I think within the last 20 years they built one row around the back. This is the, the tent holders are interdenominational. And even our worship services are interdenominational, you would never know that we are United Methodists by looking at the roster of, or hearing the roster of preachers that appear during the week. We reach out to those individuals who are within the community. Doesn't matter what denomination they are. We have COGIC [Church of God in Christ]. We have FBH [Fire-Baptized Holiness]. We have the Baptist, we have the AME's [African Methodist Episcopal]. We have the Christian Church, all denominations, and of course the United Methodist. It doesn't matter what denomination individuals are, so far as the worship and the tent. So there's a vast number who would like to become a part and build a tent and of course they basically have partial ownership to the tent but not to the grounds and of course, the way it operates now is that tents are in, in certain or within families. And of course it's passed down from one generation to the next. And for that reason, there are many who can't, can't seem to get in because no one will give up their tent. And there are people who plan their whole entire vacation around camp meeting. They come home who migrated north and south east or west, the individuals who come home during this particular week.

TWIGG: The circle is a part of human consciousness, not just for African Americans, but for human beings. I have a drawing of a—from Dahomey—of a snake. And the snake is eating its tail. And what you're looking at is that never-ending circle. And I think in a circle, a circle is really a kind of expression of eternity because it never ends, it's always around. And the other thing about this is—one of the things about this campground is that people in the circle or in the square are almost equal distant from this place of worship where we're standing—which I think is so important because it gives people the sense of community, the sense of relationship to one another. And that's what I find most important about what you see here. And this is a drawing of, my mom called it a bush arbor. Some people call it a brush arbor. But here you have the poles in the ground much like what you see in that meeting house here. And you'd have slats over here, which would be saplings. And then you would stack, uh, brush over that-- cut bushes and put bushes over this for shade. And then the service has happened under here. This was really the precursor of a church.

(Woodward with Shellie Johnson, Horn Blower, Shady Grove and Indian Fields Campgrounds)

WOODWARD: Mr. Shell, how far from the camp meeting, do you live?

SHELL JOHNSON: About three miles or four. Three or four miles.

WOODWARD: And do you have anybody living with you?

SHELL JOHNSON: My daughter.

WOODWARD: Your daughter?

CEALIE GOODWIN: Wasn't for him, I don't know what would I do.

WOODWARD: Really, is that right? Does he ever bring that horn home?

CEALIE GOODWIN: Yeah, he keeps it home.

WOODWARD: Does he?


WOODWARD: Where's he put it?

CEALIE GOODWIN: He puts it in a little corner.

WOODWARD: Is that right?

CEALIE GOODWIN: Every now and then he takes it out and work with it.

WOODWARD: You've got on the Johnson Family Reunion T-shirt here. And where is Shellie?  He's right here, ain't he?


WOODWARD: So there's parents, Steve Johnson and Shellie Johnson. Are these the children?

CEALIE GOODWIN: Those, his brothers and sisters.

WOODWARD: Those are HIS brothers and sisters,

CEALIE GOODWIN: And all of them gone except him.

WOODWARD: And Shell's the last remaining one.

CEALIE GOODWIN: That's right.

WOODWARD: If you had to describe Shell to somebody who'd never met him, how would you describe him?

CEALIE GOODWIN: Generous. Good. What can I say?

WOODWARD:  Mr. Shell, this is Gemari, and he thinks he can blow that horn. What do you reckon?

JOHNSON: He might.

WOODWARD: He might? What does it take to blow that horn?

JOHNSON: Takes wind, knowledge, and wisdom, and understanding.

WOODWARD: Wind, knowledge, and wisdom and understanding is what he says. Do you think you have that?

GEMARI: Yes, sir

WOODWARD: Have you ever asked him to show you how he makes his lips to blow that horn?

GEMARI: No, sir.

WOODWARD: Ask him if he would show you.

GEMARI: Could you show me?  Please.

JOHNSON: Showing mouth, and how. You gotta say: (demonstrates blowing with his lips).   Can you do that? Can you do it like that?

GEMARI: Yes sir.

JOHNSON: Try that.

GEMARI: (imitates him, puffing with his lips).

JOHNSON: You might, you might make it. You gonna make it if you try. I got, I got a short horn. I'll tell that boy to bring it, and I'm gonna get you, and let you learn it.
You got to do it, now.

WOODWARD: A short horn, you're goin' get it out here and let Gemari try to learn it?


You gonna do that, do it now?

GEMARI: Yes, sir.

JOHNSON: Will you do it?

GEMARI: Yes, sir.

JOHNSON: Now, I'm a take this horn back and man made bigger horn. I'm gonna take it back from staying and I'm a get you, and you can learn and then you might be able to blow it next year.

GEMARI: All right.

JOHNSON: Do you think you can try that?

GEMARI: Yes sir.

JOHNSON: All right then. Good.

WOODWARD: And how did he do, Mr. Shell? How did that young Gemari do?

JOHNSON: He done near about good enough.

WOODWARD: Do you think you can teach him?

JOHNSON: Who you talking about? Which one?

WOODWARD: The little boy that just came here.

JOHNSON: If, if, if he, he can teach himself, if he do it. That's the way you got, you got to do for yourself. If he can make up his mind and say he can do it, and ask the Lord to  help him to do it, he will do it. But if he don't, don't do that, why . . . Some people will try, and then if they can't do it, they'll throw it down and go, and go and do something else. Won't try to do it. What you do, you got to learn for yourself.

WOODWARD: Shell, I want you to meet Dr. Vernon Burton.
DR. VERNON BURTON (caption, Historian of the American South, University of Illinois, Champaign): How you doing sir?

JOHNSON: Pretty good, how are you doing?

BURTON: Real well. Great honor. (introducing himself to Ms. Goodwin) Vernon Burton.

WOODWARD: This is his daughter Cealie.

BURTON: Great pleasure.

WOODWARD: Dr. Burton, let me ask you a question. You're a historian, you have a PhD. Shell is 99 years old. He has lived a lot of life here. Is there any way we can call him a historian?

BURTON: I'm sure we can, I'm sure he is a historian. I'm sure he's living history. I'm sure that he knows more then and can remember more than sort of tell us about it than we can ever find in the records. 'Cause so much of our history is just carried from one family-tradition story to another.

WOODWARD: Do you know Mr. Jimmy, Dr. Jimmy Montgomery. This is Mr. Shell Johnson.

DR. JIMMY MONTGOMERY (caption, Historian, African American Religion, Claflin University): Good to meet you Mr. Shell Johnson.

JOHNSON: I've been in Columbia. I think I saw you a couple of years ago.

BURTON: You talked about this road that had been named, and the name of the road again was what?

JOHNSON: Johnson Horn Road.

BURTON: Johnson Horn Road, what a wonderful name.

JOHNSON: That's right.

BURTON: That's really something special to have not only your name, but the road itself with your name, but to associate it with the horn that calls people together that's a, that's a real tribute, I think. I hope you feel good about that.

JOHNSON: I sure do. I come by and look, and I see the sign out side the road said Johnson Horn Road. I said, now what they put Johnson Horn Road on there for? Put my name there?

BURTON: "But they associate you with that horn, don't they?

JOHNSON: Yes, they do.

BURTON: Well, I think that's good because the horn sort of brings people together.

JOHNSON: That's right.

BURTON: It's a sort of a symbol for community, I think. And I think you're probably a symbol for, for a community and bringing people together. So this is great that this road will always be there.

JOHNSON: That's right, sure will. When I'm gone, that road is going to be there.

BURTON: Yeah. And roads, I think, have special meaning in the South.


BURTON: Special meaning in terms of linking people together and bringing people together. And so I think this is a wonderful symbol for what you stand for, and your sort of faith.

MONTGOMERY: The road being named after you suggested you were leaving a legacy. That you will live on forever. That even when you decease.

JOHNSON: My body gone.

MONTGOMERY: Gone, but you will live on forever through your grandchildren and the community and the elders.

JOHNSON: That's right.

MONTGOMERY: But, you know, Mr. Johnson, your being able to blow with a horn so effectively sort of reminds me of a story in the Bible. It talks about Gabriel, blowing the horn.

JOHNSON: I sure enjoy it. And I'm going to try to do the best I can, till my time is out.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN (watching boys playing ball): When we was about their age, when church was going on, we couldn't play like that.

WOODWARD: Is that right?

WOMAN (continuing): We had to go in the back or go inside the tent.

MONTGOMERY: I have been here a few times and visited this camp meeting. And I'm just overwhelmed. I'm always impressed in terms of the tenacity of the people in terms of the resiliency of the people, in terms of their spirituality and their commitment to return year after year, and to keep this tradition and this heritage going, and not allowing it to die but allow it to live and allow it to live through their descendants.

BURTON: This is just, I think, one major example of how in the South people, black and white, have continued to redefine community and keep community going in a time when we have sort of a mass culture in society. When you think about whether it's the little football games that people go to as a community to root for their small team, or whether it's a group of people from a rural area who get in a car and drive together, go shopping twenty or thirty miles away at a Walmart, there are still ways of making community. And there's nothing more important, I think, to the formation of the African American community, than in fact, their faith and their sharing their faith together. And so this is, as you look out on this camp ground, you can almost physically see a layout of, of a circle around a tabernacle facing the tabernacle and the idea of the unbroken circle that is community that continues and it's really a symbol. I think, I mean, it's a, it's a visible symbol of the strong bond of community that under the foundation of which in some ways is the strong religious tradition and worked out each year here on this campground. So for me, it's, not just new people coming in and a way to introduce them, but for people to maintain their context with their traditions, with their culture, with their friends, with family, even as they get more and more distanced in time and place.

UNIDENTIFIED YOUNG MAN IN A TRUCK: . . .selling the sweetest sweet potato in the South.

WOODWARD: Is that right, that you go around the tents and offer them for sale?

MAN: Yes, sir.

WOODWARD: And how are you doing?

MAN: We're doing quite well, a lot of sweet potato lovers out here.

WOODWARD: Is that right?

MAN: That's a tradition.

WOODWARD: Is that right?

MAN: Right.

WOODWARD: So you always come around dinner time to sell?

MAN: Exactly. Those are what you call jumbo sweet potatoes. And they're grown for their Southern sweetness and grown basically for sweet potato pie.

WOODWARD: It's remarkable to find this in the 21st century strong and well, isn't it? I mean, doesn't this run against the culture?

MONTGOMERY: Some would say it runs against the culture, but I think there is something special here through this camp meeting. I think the camp meeting—one thing that's very, has always been very a part of the African American church, has always been the theme of liberation. And the theme of helping to free people too, because of African American church and people have endured so much oppression. And so much segregation down through the years that the church has always been a free and a means of liberation. And this is one of the themes that I see here in the camp meeting. That as people can come here, as people can walk through here freely and openly and love each other and talk to one another, it helps them to just for a second to forget about the oppression, and the hardship of the world, and the things they encounter on their job. And just to experience the freeness and the liberation through God's grace and through God's spirit that all of us stand in need of.
DR. JACK BASS (caption, Historian of the American South, College of Charleston): I think this camp meeting says a lot, not only about the state of South Carolina and America itself but really about the American experience.

BURTON: It's a wonderful looking place. I think it just exudes a special sense of community, of faith. I think you couldn't find probably a spot anywhere that would perhaps say as much of just the way it's laid out the way the people use it, live in it, worship in it, that I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: As for politics, I guess they feel that's a way to, you have a mass of people in one group. So if you politicking you know, you can touch a lot of people, and one tell another.

UNIDENTIFIED WHITE POLITICIAN: Politicking at the Shady Grove campground, I do it every year, come up, and say hello to my friends. Sometimes, I only get to see them once a year, especially when they move away and they come back.

UNIDENTIFIED BLACK POLITICIAN: Constituents that live out of state, they got a property here, you know, they're concerned about taxes and that kind of thing. They get a chance to talk to us at the campground about problems they have.

WHITE POLITICIAN: So we call that “airing their views.”

BASS: Long tradition of the black church being much more of a, not only religious and spiritual center, but also a cultural center, a community center. So the one institution that blacks had control of after slavery. And the impact after World War II and the Civil Rights movement and the role of political change. The fact that politicians now, white politicians want to come to an institution like this because as several members here have said, you know, the voting rights act made a big difference. You had large numbers of blacks participating. The role of blacks in politics changed from that of political object to political participant. And so local white politicians in this area will assist the trustees here in terms of paving roads nearby, help them in acquiring land, providing public services, providing security for the event and a number of other activities that are legitimate forms of government service.

WHITE POLITICIAN: Hello ladies, how y'all? How you doing?

WOODWARD (to a woman with a bag): What you got?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: These are cameras from Dr. Floyd's program on yesterday. We did a presentation for the children, and we do this every year for the last eight years. So we trying to collect our cameras so that Dr. Floyd can finish her project.

FLOYD: What I'm doing is I gave them out to the students, and I wanted them to go around and capture their—capture camp meetings through their own eyes. And so we, they saw some of the photographs that I've taken, and then I wanted them to go out and capture from their point of view. So now we're collecting the cameras. Then we'll come together next year, this time, and they'll be, they will see their photographs. And I'm hoping we can have a small exhibition which features their works, some of their works. I hope that they have a better understanding and appreciation for camp meetings. And that it is more than just socializing and talking with friends. And that it's important that they talk to their grandparents and great-grandparents, and mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers about camp meeting. I'm hoping that it opens their eyes to looking beyond what they normally see when they come out to campgrounds.

WOODWARD: How important is it to the African American community itself that this goes on every year? How does it build community?

MONTGOMERY: One of the best ways of building a community is over meals, over fellowship and over food. And that's the significant part of the camp meeting. As we look through the Bible, one of the things that Jesus did, as well as the Prophets and Elders, they would always share a meal with one another because through meal, we get to know each other. We tend to share a meal with people who in a sense who have things in common with us. If I'm willing to share a meal with you, it says that in a sense I'm willing to trust you. If I'm willing to share a meal with you, it says in a sense that I'm willing to take a risk with you. And so this is very important to the African American community.

WOODWARD: What'd you got in the pot?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN (who is cooking): Southern Blue Crab.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN (after shots of many different pots of food, holding a tray she has filled for herself): Potato salad, dressing, macaroni, collard greens, and a big chicken leg, and a piece of ham.

BOYER (with others, looking at a CD): I don't actually know the Williams Sisters, but they are rather extraordinary because they sing in a style from Clara Ward and the Ward Singers and the Angelic Gospel Singers and Davis Sisters, who were the rage 50 years ago. Now they have a little modern sound because they're young people, but they know the tradition. And they got a couple of young women in there who can squall like a preacher.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes they do. Hopefully today you will get to meet the William Sisters in person.

BOYER: I'd like that very much. Oh yes. Okay.

BOYER (approaching the Williams family group): Reverend Williams, I'm Horace Boyer. And I'm delighted to meet you. I've already gotten a good deal of information about the William Sisters.

REVEREND JAMES WILLIAMS: I was growing up in Shady Grove Methodist Church.

BOYER:  I declare. Okay. Isn't that something? (to his daughters) Now how did you start singing, in Sunday School or at home?

DAUGHTER OF REVEREND WILLIAMS: Actually, the vision was given to Pastor Williams. God had already fore-showed him what to do, and I'm going to try to tie it up as quick as I can. What he did was call each and every one of us, individually, and told us—he asked me to sing. I said I couldn't sing. He said, yes, you could. Because God—

BOYER: So how old would you have been then?

DAUGHTER (continuing): I was about five years old. And he did it individually with Juliet in particular. My father told her that God anointed her to, for her gift, for the drums and also singing. So he got some blessed oil, he anointed each and every one of us, he did the same thing with James. I think it was a guitar or something. And he took the strings off of it. But left three and told James to play the bass. Of course, James said, "I couldn't." But anyway, he anointed each and every one of us through by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. And he told us each and every one of us, what God said, what our gift was.

BOYER: So this came through you?

WILLIAMS: Through by the Holy Ghost.

BOYER: So did you sing a capella before?

DAUGHTER: No, actually we, you know, my dad actually started playing guitar.

BOYER: Playing what?

DAUGHTER: Playing guitar. He played guitar.

BOYER (to Reverend Williams): You played guitar? or the Lord anointed you too?

WILLIAMS: I was never. I was at that Old Time.

BOYER: Yeah. But it just, it just clomp, clomp, clomp behind you.


BOYER: I've heard that when you come on on Sunday night, you can just forget it! I know what to expect. I'm going to wear my good shoes, my comfortable shoes, and get me a good seat, because I'm really looking forward to it. This is so exciting.

DAUGHTER: Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Dr. Boyer.

BOYER: Thank you very much.
(a line of people enter a building, burst of conversation)  Come on, y'all. . . Hi. . . How you doing? . . . Come on in.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Best part of the whole day. We gonna eat. Southern style. I'm going to have to go on a diet after eating all this here.

WILLIAMS’S DAUGHTER: Straight up soul food.

WILLIAMS: Good food.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You ready for the next group?

WILLIAMS: Soul food.


WOODWARD: Where are the Williams Sisters going to eat?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Over there, in that tent over there. They’re going to meet in the church.

WILLIAMS: She having a food attack.

RIGBY: Many years ago, I taught a little boy, and his name was James Williams. How many of you know James Williams?

EVERYBODY (applauding): Yeah.

RIGBY: James Williams, stand up. Stand up, James. I knew James from a baby from the crib on up the way. And you know, the Lord called him to the, into the ministry. He was a little devilish boy. But you know what, God desires to use the little devilish ones. He can make great people out of them.


RIGBY: And this is what he did for little James, my favorite little boy. Then, I taught James' children. James' children stand. You know Rigby taught all of you all.

OTHER DINERS: Yes, you did.

RIGBY: But Johnson’s ancestors. They are the roots of Caesar Wolfe, the man that was at the head of cutting the rice here, but Johnsons are rooted here. So am I. So therefore we are the ancestors of the man who helped cut the rice here. So we, it's great. Give the Johnsons a big applause. I'm gonna ask. Excuse me. Let us sing one selection together. “There is going to be a camp meeting tonight at the old camp ground.” Who will lead that? And all of us will join in. "There is going to be a meeting tonight at the old camp ground." Come on.

Meeting tonight,
Meeting at the old camp ground.

RIGBY: Come on, singing.

Singing tonight,
Singing tonight,
Singing at the old camp ground.
Singing tonight,
Singing tonight,
Singing at the old camp ground.

They'll be shouting tonight,  
Shouting tonight,
Shouting at the old camp ground.

BOYER: Tonight I'm looking forward to a service that is 85% African. What do I mean by that? I'm going to expect a certain kind of voice. I'm going to expect a voice like Ray Charles, like Louis Armstrong, like Aretha Franklin. I'm not expecting a voice like Luciano Pavarotti, or Kathleen Battle. I'm looking for that field voice. I'm looking for that voice that came over in the middle passage. I'm looking for a rhythmic singing that can invoke the spirit. I'm looking for physical movement, which accentuates the rhythm. I'm looking for equal participation. So even though the— I mean, this is, this is God's... The service has to be democratic. It may be priest-oriented. That is to say, the preacher may be leading it, but he can't lead it without the congregation. So I'm expecting them to pull it in. And I'm expecting music that is going to tear the top of that roof off because they have come. They have come to serve the Lord. Now, I don't know if I'm going to get that, but I would almost bet my soul that I am going to get that because whether we have come here to eat or to visit, the whole thing is topped off by good church. And good church means no matter what anybody says, it means 60% music and 40% preaching. It can't be the other way around because all of us can't preach but all of us can sing. And that's why that singing is so important. That's my chance to preach. I'm expecting. And I'm also expecting some shouting. Shouting is actually dancing in the spirit. It can be very formal or it can be wow, but you must give, at some point you must react to the spirit, as one reacts when Michael Jordan plays basketball. You're uncontrollable. You want to— You're not even aware of the fact that you're standing up. You might even be going toward the center of the court. If it gets exciting enough, that's exactly what I'm expecting tonight.

(Shell Johnson blows the long horn as a call to the evening service)

REVEREND WILLIAMS: . . . to begin the last day of services at this old historical spot. We have been coming here for a number of years. I often refer to my love for camp meeting and the services here at this place as the fact that I was born on a camp meeting Sunday certainly would give an occasion to my love for coming to the place of my roots. There is something that is within that draws us back to where we started from.

CHOIR LEADER: Put your hands together, choir.

Oh, Lord,
Change is coming.  
Change is coming.
Oh, Lord.
Oh, Lord.
Don't worry about a thing.
Oh, Lord.  
Oh, Lord.  
You can make it.
You can make it.  
Oh, Lord.
Oh, Lord.

REVEREND JOHN ELLIOTT: Good evening, Saints.

CONGREGATION: Good evening.

ELLIOTT (preaching): A lot of us are skeptics, Because if we can't see it or we can't touch it, we won't believe in it. But you need faith. You got to have faith.

What am I to God?
But he did.
He didn't have to do it, but he did.

AN UNIDENTIFIED MINISTER (preaching) Now when the Lord lay hands on you, you're never the same. One thing about the Lord when he touch you, you been touched. You have been touched by many a people and have been touched by many things, but when the Lord touch you, you will never be the same.

(while the offering is collected)
Come let us adore him,
Kneel down before him,
Worship and adore him,
For He's my friend.

SONG LEADER: One more time.

Can't nobody do like Jesus.
Can't nobody do like the Lord.
Hallelujah can't nobody do like Jesus.
He's my friend.

BOYER: The last night of the camp meeting is like the frosting on a cake. In the first place, everybody who is there is going try to get into the service because this is the last time you're going to see these people for a year. This is the last time you're going to have this many, you're going to have this many people singing. This is the last time you're going to have this many sermons following each other. The Spirit is going to be very high, and more than likely they will save the most well known or the most liked preacher. The best singers and their outfits that they're going to wear are going to be like a fashion show from Paris. Now tonight, when we close out, the Williams Sisters will be here. An hour and a half before the Williams sisters are coming on you'll see people sneaking into the church or finding their way on the aisle. The service will be at a peak.
(up-tempo singing by a group of women, with percussion)

UNIDENTIFIED MINISTER: Do I have some sanctified folks out there?


MINISTER: Do I have some Holy Ghost filled folks out there?


MINISTER: Come on make some noise.
(the minister, laying a hand of healing on a woman’s head)

REVEREND JAMES WILLIAMS: Now praise God we're going to call my daughters and my spirit— my sisters in the Lord, the Williams Sisters.

WILLIAMS’S DAUGHTER: Praise the Lord. Somebody come on. (singing) Ohhhhh. 
Put your hands together, and give God some praise.  I know ya'll aren't tired yet, are you? God is a real good God. God, amen, can reach you anywhere.


DAUGHTER: And pick you up. The Bible said it was power! Come on put your hands together. Listen.

(with some moments from the singing)

Now on the day of Pentecost,
When it was fully calm,
They were all in one place. . .
We need  
Power in the house!
We need Power in the house!
Nothing but Power in the house!  
Holy Ghost Power, in the house!
Now when all this took place,
They began to speak with tongues,  
Tongues like fire that filled everyone.
Power! Power!  
Come in—  

DAUGHTER: God bless You! God bless you!
Hallelujah, y'all enjoy that?
(congregational singing)
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!  
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
     This is my story, this is my song,
     Praising my Savior all the day long.  
     This is my story, this is my song,
     Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,  
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.  
     This is my story, this is my song,
     Praising my Savior all the day long.
     This is my story, this is my song,
     Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, all is at rest. . .  

SHELLIE JOHNSON: The Lord wants us to be under one horn, to be loving and kind and humble, love everybody in Jesus’ name. Pray right and do right and live right, and you can go home and rest in peace. That's what you got to do to get to Heaven.


A Folk Heritage Documentary
Stan Woodward

Director of Videography
Editor in Chief
Stan Woodward

Digital Video Editing Studios
The Woodward Studio, Ltd.
Adjunct Video Services

Steve Godsey
Production Assistant:
2nd Camera
Sterling Johnson
3rd Camera

Campmeeting Choirs
Chuck Tracino, Composer & Writer
(Indian Field, Cypress & Cattle Creek CM’s)

The Woodward Studio Limited
With funds from

The Humanities Council, S.C.
. . . which receives funding from
The National Endowment for the Humanities
To support works in the Humanities

Dorchester Historical Society
Sponsorship of a grant from
Coastal Community Foundation of SC

The Humanities Council SC Grants Sponsors
McKissick Museum
University of South Carolina, Columbia
United Methodist Church of St. George
St. George, SC

SC Arts Commission
… Which receives funding from
The National Endowment for the Arts
to support works in the Arts

College of Charleston
C.L.A.W. Program
(Carolina Low Country & Atlantic World)
- Sponsor for SC Arts Commission Grant -

Board of Trustees
Indian Field Campmeeting
St. George, SC

Stan & Barbara Woodward
Greenville, SC

And from
McKissick Museum
University of South Carolina
Lynn Robertson, Director
The Folklife Resources Center at McKissick
Saddler Taylor, Director
(Initial Sponsors, “Hallowed Ground” Project)

Dorchester Historical Society
Sponsorship of a grant from
Coastal Community Foundation of SC

The Humanities Council SC Grants Sponsors
McKissick Museum
University of South Carolina, Columbia
United Methodist Church of St. George
St. George, SC

Campmeeting Scholars/Advisers
Dr. A. V. Huff, Furman Univ. (Retired)
Dr. Jack Bass, College of Charleston
Dr. Jimmy Montgomery, Claflin University
Dr. Horace Boyer, U. of Mass. (Retired)
Dr. John Vlach, Georgetown Univ.
Dr. John Wigger, Univ of Missouri (Columbia)
Dr. Russell Richey, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Dr. Vernon Burton, Univ. of Illinois (Champagne)
Vennie Deas-Moore, Consultant, African-American Folklore

Campmeeting Historians
Linda Skelton, Indian Field CM
Judge Cranston Pinckney, Shady Grove CM
The Families of St. Paul CM
Mattie Lee Browning, Cypress CM
Steve Summers, Cattle Creek CM

Archives & Information Research
Jay Williams
Sandy Woodward

Sandy Woodward
Writer & Production Assistant

Special Thanks to:
Paige Lee, Jim Bell, George Knight,
& Indian Field Bd. of Trustees

Rev. John Elliott, Judge Cranston Pinckney,
Bennie Green (Posthumously), & Ordie Brown
& Shady Grove Bd. of Trustees

Hubert Green, St. Paul Campground
Mattie Lee Browning, Cypress Campground
Steve Summers, Julius Kizer, Cattle Creek CM

With Special Appreciation to
Reverend Wash Belangia, Pastor
United Methodist Church of St. George
Humanities Council SC Community Sponsor
Phyllis Hughes, Director
Dorchester County Historical Society
Coastal Carolina Community Fdn Sponsor
Dr. Simon Lewis, Director
C.L.A.W. Program, College of Charleston

Copyright 2007
The Woodward Studio Limited
Order the “Hallowed Ground Suite”
- all Five Campmeetings -

In Memory of
Bennie Green
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Shady Grove Campground

SHELLIE JOHNSON: The Lord wants us to be under one horn, to be loving and kind and humble, love everybody in Jesus’ name. Pray right and do right and live right, and you can go home and rest in peace. That's what you got to do to get to Heaven.