HISTORY - 2018 Salem Camp Meeting - 7 PM nightly June 24 - 30

1647 Salem Road, Benton, Arkansas 72019

The 2018 camp meeting is history. Have you seen our current web page?

We welcome everyone to join with us to worship God and carry on the tradition of many generations of Christians who gathered together every year for camp meeting. You are invited to join us for any and all 7 nights of old-fashioned church services under the historic open-air arbor (tabernacle).

Salem Campgrounds arbor

The Salem Campground is about 4 miles north of Benton, Arkansas. We no longer camp out for a week or two in tents or cabins, and we only have one service in the evening instead of three or four meetings throughout the day, but we still enjoy worshiping God and celebrating the tradition and memories of camp meeting.

The first night, 6/24
Activities begin at 6 PM

The last night, 6/30
Singing begins at 6:30 PM

The schedule for each evening is:

  • 7 PM to 7:30 PM
    Special music and

  • 7:30 PM - 8 PM
    Singing old hymns

  • 8 PM Sermon

  • After service
    Refreshments and visiting
    in church fellowship hall
    except the first night


View Larger Map and get directions

Special Music

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.

Sunday 6/24 at 6 PM

Join us for supper in the fellowship hall followed by special music by the Salem UMC Sanctuary Choir at 7 PM. Led by Curt Hamlett, the choir sings a mix of old and new hymns and gospel songs.

Monday 6/25

His Story is a local trio that sings a mix of southern gospel music and favorite hymns. Although the group is fairly new, the members have been singing gospel music for a long time.

Tuesday 6/26

Randy Mason enjoys singing Southern Gospel Music including some songs recorded by Elvis Pressley. During the work day he is in the automotive business, and has been for 30 years. He has been with Everett Infiniti of Central Arkansas (I-30 and Alcoa Rd) for about 3 years.

Wednesday 6/27 Youth Night

Greg Schick sings, plays guitar and keyboard, and gets the young people involved in his fun and sometimes funny routines and music. He may even have the entire congregation participate in a mass choir with each section doing something different. This will be his fifth year to share his musical ministry with us. Greg is Pastor of Contemporary Service at Saint James UMC in Little Rock.

Thursday 6/28

The Salem UMC Praise Team sings worship and praise songs, led by Laura Cross who plays keyboard. Her husband Randy plays bass, Steve Davis plays guitar, and Roger Welch plays drums. This small group obviously loves singing about God.

Friday 6/29

The Garrett Sisters and Friends sing good down to earth gospel music. Glenda Porter says, "We pray to be used by God to usher in HIS PRESENCE!!! We pray for a move of God at this Camp-Meeting !! To God be the Glory, for HE is GREAT and Greatly to be praised !!!!" You can learn more about The Garrett Sisters on their Facebook page.

Saturday 6/30 at 6:30 PM

Heaven's Echoes will be doing a one hour concert, so we start 30 minutes early at 6:30 PM. This southern gospel singing group is well known and loved in the Central Arkansas area, and was named 2018 inspirational artist of the Year by the Arkansas Country Music Association. Heaven's Echoes began ministering as a Southern Gospel Quartet in 1983, based out of Plumerville, Arkansas. The group consists of family members raised up in Christian homes by God fearing, Bible believing parents who attended country churches where the Word of God was proclaimed! Sharing the Gospel in song and testimony is their calling, their ministry. It is expensive to travel, so we will be receiving a special offering for the group. They will be selling CDs after the regular camp meeting service.

Hymns: At 7:30 PM each night we all join in singing the old hymns!

Lynn Hoggard serves as song leader, accompanied by pianist Kathleen Dockery. Anyone who wants is welcome to come join the choir. We especially encourage young people to join the choir. Even if you do not know all the songs, come join us and be surrounded by some exuberant singing.

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 three grandchildren.

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 been driving from Hot Springs to play the piano at Salem Camp meeting for several years. Anyone who hears and sees her playing that old time gospel style piano can tell that she enjoys what she is doing. Judging by the smiles on the faces of the audience, her enthusiasm and enjoyment must be contagious.

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.

Scott Gallimore small photo

At 8 PM camp meeting evangelist Scott Gallimore will present the sermon. Scott is lead pastor at Piney Grove UMC west of Hot Springs - the church he was attending with his wife, Rita, in 1992 when he was called into the ministry. The Walk to Emmaus was an instrumental means of grace in clarifying that call. As a former professional jockey at Oaklawn Park and throughout the midwest, Scott’s testimony includes how God led him from the "Pasture to the Pastor." As a foundation for counseling Scott was a psychology major at Henderson State University and completed his ministry preparation by serving churches in Kentucky while completing a Master of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary. Rita and Scott home schooled their four children Bethany (ASU), Samuel (LA Tech), Rachael (UCA) and Jordan (National Park Community College). Outside of church activities, you may find the Gallimore family camping, hiking, boating or riding horses at their Royal Gold Ranch. He preached the Salem Camp Meetings several years ago, and we welcome him back. Sermon topics include;

  • Sunday - Fasting - Matthew 6:16-18
  • Monday - Praying - Matthew 6:5-13
  • Tuesday - Study - 2 Timothy 2:14
  • Wednesday - Service - John 13:1-15
  • Thursday - Confession - James 5:16
  • Friday - Celebration - Luke 24
  • Saturday - Rev. Justin Ledbetter, guest evangalist

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 evangelist 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. We still need and desire to experience God's forgiveness and life-changing power.

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. Volunteers also work prior to camp meeting making plans and arrangements for the next upcoming meeting, fixing up the arbor, and praying for God's blessings on the camp meeting and everyone who attends.

The camp meetings are organized and run by the Salem Camp Meeting Association. 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 including maintaining and improving the arbor. Thanks to everyone who has contributed their talent, time, and efforts to the annual camp meetings, and a special thanks to those who have generously contributed to improvements such as the new arbor roof, concrete floor, seat cushions, improved lighting, additional ceiling fans, and some nice church pews donated by the Vilonia, UMC. Annual camp meetings will continue as long as people keep supporting them. It is said that John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believing that it was more blessed to give than to receive, set an example of generous giving by giving away more than the equivalent of $1.7 million during his lifetime - more than he spent on himself or his family.

You can view and share pictures of the camp meeting on our Facebook page. If you have questions that are not answered here, please call the Salem UMC at 501-316-2282 or Bill Shirron, Head Usher for Camp Meeting, at 501-794-6855.

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: 2017 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Webmaster: chdyoung@gmail.com