It is an oasis of green space in north Cherokee, east of Canton and one mile south of busy Ga. 20 toward Cumming.
More accurately, it is a 40-acre, heavily shaded link to the past.
Each summer since 1839, the faithful make the pilgrimage to Holbrook Campground for a 10-day outdoor revival.
On the wooded lot, just across the street from Macedonia United Methodist Church, is an open-air arbor where visiting pastors deliver nightly sermons. The arbor is surrounded by a circle of 75 cabins, known as “tents,” that range from small buildings with sawdust floors and no bathrooms to air-conditioned cottages with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.
Children can be seen riding their bikes and scooters on the property while the adults, often several generations of families, relax in rockers and porch swings after a home-cooked meal.
It’s a tradition that’s repeated at historic sites, some almost 200 years old, across north Georgia this time of year. Camp meetings were traditionally a time of repentance, revival and reconnecting with God and neighbors. Generations later, worshippers no longer tie their cows to horse-drawn wagons to make the journey to camp meeting. In many cases, the campgrounds are surrounded by upscale neighborhoods and pricey retail centers. Virtually everything surrounding these campgrounds has changed dramatically since their inception.
However, the message and purpose for gathering remains the same.
Grab your calendar and plan to visit a few this month.Campgrounds in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia
Holbrook, 2415 Holbrook Campground Rd., has an Alpharetta address but is located in Cherokee County. Services for this 174th year will be July 13-22, with guest ministers Rev. Eddie Herring of in Lawrenceville, and Rev. Mike Orr of First Baptist Church in Chipley, FL. Daily worship is held at 11 a.m., 3 and 8 p.m. www.holbrookcampmeeting.com
Marietta, 2301 Roswell Rd., Marietta, across from . July 13-22. A huge celebration event 12:30-10 p.m. July 14 commemorates 175 years. Free barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, sides and sno-cones. Demonstrations include primitive skills such as stone cooking, arrowhead making, spinning and weaving. At 7:30 p.m. July 16, Brad Sherrill will perform The Gospel of John. Guest preachers for the daily services are Dr. Ike Reighard, Dr. Gil Watson, Rev. Charles Sineath and Dr. Jim Lowry. www.mariettacampmeeting.org.Antioch, Antioch Campground Road in Gainesville. July 16-21. www.antiochcampground.org Lumpkin, 105 Lumpkin Campground Rd, Dawsonville. July 23-29 www.lumpkincampground.org. Pine Log, part of Pine Log United Methodist Church at 3497 Pine Log Road, Rydal. July 22-29. http://pinelogumc.com/campmeeting.
Editor's note: A version of this story previously appeared in the July edition of The Cherokee Vine, a monthly newsletter that highlights news and events from churches, ministries and charitable organizations in Cherokee County.