Begun by traveling Methodist preachers in 1786, camp meeting services have been held annually ever since at the Cattle Creek Campground. The entire campground was rebuilt after burning during a forest fire in the late 1800s. Many of the standing tents are well over a century old. Of course, anyone who has seen the campground realizes that these "tents," as they are called, are wooden buildings with either sawdust or hay on the ground. but the addition of electricity, and rudimentary plumbing has made them somewhat more comfortable than they were 200 years ago.
For many families at Cattle Creek Campground, the annual camp meeting signifies a time of fellowship when families can spend a week away from the hectic pace of modern life. Children learn that they can live without air conditioning and television. During the day, they engage in water fights or make numerous visits to the "store," where cold pineapple sherbet is sold. Grownups sit in lawn chairs in the front or back of their "tent" and talk about the latest news, how the children are growing up and what has happened since the last camp meeting. And there is plenty of food. Everyone prepares an abundant supply of their best recipes. Nightly preaching is scheduled at the tabernacle, a large, open structure with a tin roof, wooden benches and a gravel floor. Many a young child has kicked the gravel there to watch the dust fly and then been admonished by a watchful mom or dad, in some cases both.