Carolina Conference Camp Meeting 2023: A Week of Spiritual Growth and Fellowship
Carolina Conference Camp Meeting 2023 took place from Sunday, May 28th to Sabbath, June 3rd at the picturesque Lake Junaluska, N.C. The theme for this year’s gathering was “Seeking His Face,” and it proved to be a transformative and enriching experience for the more than 2500 attendees of all ages.
The event kicked off on Sunday evening with a warm welcome from Leslie and Carole Louis. Elder Louis emphasized that the theme of seeking Christ’s face was not just a mere slogan but a prayer that the attendees would earnestly seek a deeper connection with Jesus. The opening night featured a powerful presentation by Tom Evans of Child Impact International, our Global Vista presenter. He was followed by Kameron Devasher, director of the Sabbath School and personal ministries department for the Michigan Conference, who continued to deliver thought-provoking messages in the evening sessions. His presentations highlighted the significance of knowing our enemy and the role of God’s divine plan in dealing with sin.
Numerous speakers and presenters shared valuable insights and messages throughout the week. The mornings were filled with inspiring talks and calls to action from our own Carolina pastors. Patrick Williams, pastor of the Asheville Foster Church, shared a personal story of regret when he left a birthday card from his father unopened. He stressed the importance of opening God’s love letter, the Bible, to receive the gift of Jesus Christ. Ryan Ashlock, pastor of the Fletcher Church, addressed the challenges of sharing the gospel and provided insights on effective ministry based on principles from 2 Corinthians.
Camp Meeting also provided a platform for attendees to explore various ministries and engage in discussions. The Harrell Center hosted booths that showcased missionary stories, provided information about sponsorship and mission opportunities, and even offered free items.
The event also touched on important topics that are often considered taboo in Christian circles. Mike Carducci and Ron Woolsey, co-founders of ‘Coming Out’ Ministries, shared their testimonies as individuals who have come out of active homosexual backgrounds. They addressed the topic of sexuality and sexual identity, providing resources and guidance for families seeking to better understand and minister to their loved ones who identify as LGBTQ+.
Camp Meeting was not just limited to adults; it catered to children and youth as well. The children’s programs offered engaging activities and interactive lessons that centered on biblical teachings. From space-themed classrooms for kindergarteners to discussions on Jesus’ true identity for youth, each group had a unique and meaningful experience.
Several outings took place in the younger groups during Camp Meeting. The teens and young adults both took rafting trips, and the Earliteen group joined in the water activities with a tubing excursion.
The week was also filled with memorable moments and special tributes. A Memorial Day tribute on Monday night honored the sacrifices of those who served in the military, and on Wednesday the annual Senior Tribute recognized those who don’t let age become a factor in their dedication to attend Camp Meeting. The most senior man and woman this year were both 97-years-young! Retired pastor but forever evangelist John Earnhardt delivered compelling messages to the men highlighting the divine calling to be a beacon of light in the world. Another seminar by Jim and Becky Ingersoll prepared attendees to respond to unforeseen disasters.
The week also featured prayer walks each morning and trips to the Adventist Christian Book Center to browse a diverse range of books and materials (and to pick up an ever-popular fruit bar). On Friday morning, young and old participated in the Run4Life 5K and 1-mile Fun Run race that brought together participants of all fitness levels.
Near the close of Camp Meeting, attendees gathered for an anointing service led by Beth Grissom, the prayer ministries director. This service provided an opportunity for attendees to seek spiritual healing and experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
John Bradshaw of It Is Written concluded the final meeting on Sabbath with Carolina Conference Camp Meeting 2023 was a truly transformative experience. It provided a platform for spiritual growth, fellowship, and the exploration of important topics relevant to our end-time faith. The event left each person inspired, challenged, and equipped to continue seeking God’s face in their individual journeys.
—Rebecca Carpenter, Director of Communications
photos by: Angel Guerrero, Christina Coston, Courtney Herod, Jessica Kovach, and Benjamin Lawson