HISTORY - 2013 Salem Camp Meeting - 7 PM nightly June 23-29

1647 Salem Road Benton, Arkansas 72019

Salem Campgrounds arbor

The 2013 camp meeting is history. Have you seen our current web page?

We welcome people of all denominations who wish to join with us to worship God as we continue our annual camp meeting tradition in Central Arkansas. The annual community-wide camp meeting is held under an open-air arbor (tabernacle) featuring old-fashioned church services for 7 nights. Each night a different group provides special music from 7 PM to 7:30 PM followed by the congregation singing old hymns and a sermon by the camp meeting evangelist. Wednesday night is youth night.

We no longer camp out for a week or two in tents or cabins, and we only have one service in the evening, but we still enjoy worshipping God and celebrating the tradition of camp meeting. Ceiling fans circulate the air, but it still may be hot. You are welcome to bring lawn chairs and sit outside the arbor if you wish. There is no admission charge. An offering will be received.

The first night, 6/23
Activities begin at 5 PM

The schedule for each evening is:

  • 7 PM to 7:30 PM
    Special music

  • 7:30 PM - 8 PM
    Singing old hymns
    led by Lynn Hoggard,
    with pianist
    Kathleen Dockery

  • 8 PM Sermon
    Rev. Travis Langley

  • After service
    Refreshments and
    visiting in church
    fellowship hall

Special Music Schedule:

  • 6/23 Sunday:
    Salem United Methodist
    Church Choir

  • 6/24 Monday:
    Wesley Chapel United
    Methodist Church Choir

  • 6/25 Tuesday:
    One Accord

  • 6/26 Wednesday:
    St. James
    United Methodist Church
    Worship Team

  • 6/27 Thursday:
    The Apostles

  • 6/28 Friday:
    Salem United Methodist
    Church Praise Team

  • 6/29 Saturday:
    Open Mic and
    Camp Meeting
    Volunteer Choir

The Salem campground is just north of Benton, Arkansas and a few miles southwest of Little Rock Arkansas.

Our Facebook page has several pictures from recent camp meetings and a few older ones. If you have any camp meeting memories, stories, comments, or pictures; please share them with us. If you have questions that are not answered here, please call the Salem UMC at 501-316-2282.

From 7 to 7:30 PM special music is provided each night by a different group representing a wide range of musical styles and different churches and denominations. Some of the groups will have CDs and/or tapes for sale, and we hope that you will express your appreciation to them by buying one or more CDs. The regular camp meeting service begins at 7:30 PM. If you have never attended camp meeting, you do not know what you are missing. We hope you can join us this year.

banner over Salem Road at Hart Road

Guest Minister: Rev. Travis Langley pastors three small United Methodist churches around the Arkadelphia area: Mt. Zion, Trinity, and Center Grove where he is known for his door to door visitation and evangelistic preaching. He has preached at camp meetings including Salem, and Davidson, and is scheduled to preach again at the Davidson Camp Meeting this year, and at the Ben Few Camp Meeting in 2014.

Rev. Langley grew up on a farm near Dalark, Arkansas and graduated from Sparkman High School. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Henderson State University. During his time as a student at Henderson State, he served as pastor of the Shorewood Hills charge with churches at Jones Mill, Magnet Cove, and Rockport. He received a Master's of Theology degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. During his time as a graduate student he served as pastor at Coppell, Texas, then as Senior Associate Pastor at First UMC in Irving, Texas. After graduation he returned to Arkansas where he served as pastor at Horatio until he left the ministry in 1977. In 2009 a series of unexplainable coincidences led him back to the ministry.

Rev. Langley is married to the former Lynda Mills from Sparkman. They have two children; Dr. Travis Langley Jr. of Arkadelphia, and Dr. Melissa Langly Biegert of Austin Texas and four grandchildren. He has raised cattle for most of his life and continues to do so.

Sunday June 23 only

5 PM - Camp Meeting Homecoming, history of the campgrounds and camp meeting including a visit to the historic star-shaped well.
6 PM - Free barbeque supper - bring your appetite and a friend
7 PM - Regular nightly schedule

Sunday 6/23/2013 - Salem United Methodist Church Choir

Salem UMC Choir - click for more photos

The choir director is Curt Hamlett who also sings bass and tenor. The accompanist is Lena Berry. Sopranos; Bettye Bragg, Laura Cross, Ann Dague, Donna Harrell, and Carol Rushing. Altos; Carolyn Hoggard, and Frances Pelton. Bass; Lynn Hoggard.

Monday 6/24/2013 - Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church Choir of Little Rock

Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church Choir

Rev. Ronnie Miller-Yow is the pastor, and Laleata Westbrook is the music director.

Tuesday 6/25/2013 - One Accord

One Accord - click for more photos

We have come to know and love this group, and we are blessed that they enjoy singing at camp meeting. These four women will bless you as they blend their voices to sing southern gospel and contemporary Christian music that exalts the Savior and encourages believers. You will hear that they are excellent singers, and as they talk between songs you will sense that their love of God motivates them. Quartet members are: Mary Ellen Bowman, Sheryl Boyd, Lamona Lawrence, and Susan Tacker. One Accord has been singing God's praises since 1998. Besides singing in the quartet, all four women are now or have been involved in various ministries at their church -- Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. They have several CDs for sale. The photo is from the 2012 camp meeting.

Wednesday 6/26/2013 - St. James United Methodist Church of Little Rock - Contemporary Worship

Greg Schick at piano talking, Greg Schick playing guitar and singing with Jamie West

Wednesday night is birthday night and youth night. Rev. Greg Schick, Pastor of Contemporary Worship, and Jamie West sang contemporary worship songs including some of the songs that Greg has written.

Thursday 6/27/2013 - The Apostles

The Apostles 2012

From the Little Rock area, The Apostles have been singing southern gospel music since London Parris formed the group in 1972. The current singers have been singing together since 1998. The Apostles have been featured at Charlie Waller's Grand Ole Gospel Reunion, the Gatlinburg Gatherings, and showcased at the National Quartet Convention. The Apostles have sung at several "Jammin for Jesus" concerts held in Branson, Missouri. Some of their songs have been played on gospel radio stations nationwide. This group seldom sings together on Sunday mornings because their ministry in their individual churches is a high priority. Garry Beavers sings tenor, Anthony Minor sings lead, and Daran Robertson sings baritone and bass. Daran's brother Terry was scheduled to sing Thursday night with The Voyagers Quartet, but they had to cancel. Voyager's tenor, Mark Lackey, had a heart attack and was hospitalized on Saturday morning June 22. Please pray for Mark's speedy recovery.

Friday 6/28/2013 - Salem United Methodist Church Praise Team

Salem United Methodist Church Praise Team - click for more photos

The group sings contemporary folk gospel along with some traditional southern gospel songs. The band is led by Laura Cross on keyboard, Randy Cross on bass, Steve Davis on acoustic guitar, and Roger Welch on drums. Vocalists include Suzanne Thomas, Penny Green, Lynn Davis, Leslie Younts, Debbie Kirk, Lynne Baer, Doug Wilson, Kathy Deweerd, Donna Humphries, Dennis Humphries, and Beth Sanchez. The photo is from the 2012 camp meeting.

Saturday 6/29/2013 - Open Mic and Salem Camp Meeting Choir

The first 15 minutes will feature a few local soloist and groups. The last 15 minutes will feature the Salem Camp Meeting Choir. Everyone who wants to sing in the choir is invited to come to the church sanctuary for choir practice from 6 PM until 6:45 PM Saturday afternoon. We plan to sing a few familiar songs.

This is the final night of camp meeting and is a memorial to those who have died during the past year. The closing hymn will be in honor of those who have gone on before us to their eternal reward.

Sunday 6/30/2013 2 PM - Camp Meeting Association meeting in the church sanctuary. More

Please show your appreciation to our special music groups by purchasing CDs and tapes, and be sure to shake their hands and tell them you appreciate their ministry. Camp meeting pays its own way -- it is not funded by the church. For the past few years the Camp Meeting has had to dip into its dwindling reserve fund to meet expenses. This year we hope to have enough income from offerings to meet our fixed expenses and have some left over to pay something to the special music groups who travel from outside Saline County.

A brief story that illustrates how dedicated and unselfish our special music groups can be: The group that ministered in music on Monday at camp meeting 2011 showed up in spite of serious difficulty. The lead singer and bus driver became ill and went to the hospital on Monday, but the rest of the group came anyway and blessed us with some good old-fashioned gospel music. The group was unable to bring any CDs to sell, but were willing to travel in a van from Hot Springs and share their ministry with us at their own expense with no expectation of monetary compensation. Music is their ministry, and they are willing to minister with little or no monetary reward.

This story is typical of all our special singers who are willing to pay their own way to bless us with their music. Recognizing that we cannot keep drawing from our reserves to pay our expenses each year, we have decided that camp meeting singers who travel from outside Saline County and will accept payment, will be paid only if income exceeds camp meeting expenses.

Let everyone join in singing the old hymns! At 7:30 PM Lynn Hoggard leads the congregation in singing some old hymns, accompanied by pianist Kathleen Dockery.

Lynn Hoggard of Benton is a retired band director and has been performing since he began singing solos in church as a 3-year-old. He comes from a large musical family. He taught band, vocal music and music education in public schools in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas, including Bryant and Bauxite. He sang professionally with the Four Jacks Quartet and has performed with a number of bands through the years.

For several years, Hoggard has played stand-up bass for Royal Players productions at the Royal Theatre in Benton. He currently sings with the Ouachita State University faculty quartet. Hoggard is a graduate of England High School and Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas), where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He holds a Master of Music Education degree from Wichita State University. Hoggard is married to the former Carolyn Couch. They have two sons and one grandchild.

Kathleen Dockery serves as praise team director and pianist for contemporary and traditional worship services at Oaklawn United Methodist Church in Hot Springs. She has never lost her childhood enthusiasm for and enjoyment of music which is so evident as she plays the piano in her unique and sometimes flamboyant way.

Dockery has been involved in gospel singing conventions for at least 50 years as the pianist and / or an officer. She is the secretary treasurer for the Arkansas River Valley Gospel Singing Convention in Atkins, Arkansas; former president of the Garland County Gospel Singing Convention in Hot Springs; the Arkansas State Gospel Singing Convention; and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Gospel Singing Convention. These conventions carry on the tradition of hosting gospel music concerts an entire weekend including Friday night, all day Saturday, and usually Saturday night. You can see a Gospel Singing Convention Schedule that includes Arkansas events here, and a schedule of mostly Texas gospel music festivals here.

Dockery has taught piano privately for many years and taught for 44 years in the Hot Springs and Lakeside school systems. She is the mother of two children and grandmother of seven, including two sets of twins.

Volunteers set up the piano and sound system every evening prior to the service and tear it all down afterwards -- it cannot be left under the open arbor. Special thanks to Mike Green for providing an excellent sound system for camp meeting. Most of the singing groups use Mike's system since it is more than adequate for their needs.

The open arbor (tabernacle) where camp meetings are held is a tangible and functional reminder of the days when people actually camped for a couple of weeks in the fall after the crops were harvested. Although the arbor is owned by the Salem United Methodist Church, and the speaker is a Methodist, we hope that all Christians will feel welcome to come to camp meeting and worship God as a community the way our forefathers did.

The camp meetings are organized and run by the Salem Camp Meeting Association which meets each year on Sunday afternoon following the last service. Anyone who wishes to attend the annual meeting is considered a member. The association elects a board which meets several times a year to conduct camp meeting business. The camp meeting association pays all expenses of the camp meeting. Thanks to everyone who has contributed their talent, time, and efforts to the annual camp meetings, and a special thanks to a few people who have generously contributed to recent improvements such as the concrete floor, seat cushions, improved lighting, and additional ceiling fans. New in 2013: 7 nice pews donated by the Vilonia, UMC.

Have you seen our current web page?
You can read a summary of the origins and history of the Salem Camp Meeting here.

Remembering some previous Salem Camp Meetings: 2012, 2011

Webmaster: chdyoung@gmail.com