“Camp Meeting”

Is it possible to have more fun than this? I submit that it is not.

I know I’ve done a few of these videos from the Sammy Allen crowd of late but I just can’t believe my eyes on some of this stuff since my experience with this “camp” of fundyland is quite limited.

I’ll try to go find some nice, calm, Bob Jones material.

240 thoughts on ““Camp Meeting””

  1. Geez! Can we find a video of just the girls singing? Because I actually liked the song and thought they did a very nice job.

    So fundies accuse the Pentecostals of getting too much emotional in their worship and their faith – Hi, kettle. My name is the pot and you’re black. Maybe it’s the inner Presbyterian in me that keeps trying to fight it’s way out, but I kept thinking of the verse, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

    1. I don’t know the song and was having a hard time understanding the song, but it was very catchy and very well performed, IMO. Even with the women walking the aisle early (which was distracting enough), it was good, then they histrionics started…

      1. The song is “Thank God, I Am Free” and I grew up singing it. It’s a great song, and the girls were putting a little bluegrass spin on it which was great.

        Too bad the circus was in town… and in the same room.

    2. If you go to youtube, the girls finish the song in part 1. Part 2 erupts into confusion and men dancing in the aisle. And then it looks like (sorry, I couldn’t watch it all) they convince the girls to sing it again. 😯

    3. I don’t see why they bother having anyone sing, when no one was listening at all. Would all the shouting, screaming, hanky-waving, and running laps have been any different without the song?

    4. Yeah, I was just thinking how much this reminds me of my old church. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this was a Charismatic revival. The running in the isles, the shouting that drowns out the singers, the ladies coming up to cry at the foot of the altar, we did all of that. Well, except for goose-stepping the Baptist flag down the isle.

      Granted, I can’t really talk much about denominationally inappropriate behavior since I went to a Charismatic Presbyterian church. See if you can wrap your head around that one.

    5. NO HOLMES – You mean exactly what your thinking -go in your deader than 4 oclock- programmed out couldn’t find God with a search warrent dead Church. Go ahead we all know what your thinking…as for the Pentacostals they sing 7/11- yeah thats right -sing 7 words repeat 11 times -liberals cant hack them old songs of Zion -they pack too much conviction-scared God might show up or something.Then instead of worshipping in the flesh they wouldn’t know what to do ! HELLO…………

  2. Holy mackerel. When did Billy Sunday come back to life????

    That was unbelievable. After the flag, I started to get worried every time a man stood up, wondering what they might do next. I’ll give them this—you’ll never fall asleep in one of those services!!

  3. … Did that guy just run down the aisle screaming and waving a sock in the air?

    I couldn’t even understand him!

    Also what kind of camp is this? Most of the people look in their thirties.

      1. I’m not exactly a clean freak but the idea of waving hankies in the air just squicks me out. It would be different if they were clean but there where ppl using them to wipe their noses/faces/whatever. Gross.

    1. Interesting question, Emanon. I don’t know why they call it Camp Meeting, but growing up in IFB, we always just did. It was sort of Revival (when preachers come during the week and you have services every night).

      I’m sure someone might know the answer to that.

      And, hanky waving is a classic IFB thing.

      1. In the old days, revivals were held in tents or brush arbors, and people from outlying areas actually came and camped at the site while the revival was going on. That was in rural areas, of course. In cities and larger towns, guests would stay in hotels or with church members.

        There’s a big “Bloys Camp Meeting” still held every summer near Fort Davis, Texas. Thousands of people camp there (literally) every August and attend preaching, singing, and prayer services. It’s been going on since 1890, and my aunt has gone there during most of the last 30 years or so.

        http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/iyb01

        http://www.bloyscampmeeting.com/

        1. I remember attending camp meeting in an open-air tabernacle with sawdust on the floor. Folks would come and camp on the grounds. The place I attended eventually built a brick open-air tabernacle, then put up walls and enclosed it.

          There are still several historic Methodist camp meeting grounds in South Carolina. Epworth near Ninety-Six comes to mind, and I think there’s another near Charleston. They still have annual services at these.

      2. I can’t resist telling one of my favorite family stories here.

        My father grew up in a very small town in west Texas. As Isaac Singer would say, it was the kind of town where everyone knows what’s cooking in everyone else’s pot.

        One time, the local Baptist church was planning a big revival, and put out a call for everyone to offer hospitality to visitors from out of town. Dad’s Uncle Oscar called up the Baptist pastor and said, “Preacher, I heard you need folks to let visiting Baptists stay at their houses, and I’ll take six of them.”

        The preacher said, “Well, that’s mighty neighborly of you, Oscar, especially seeing as how you’re not even a Baptist, but you only have one extra bed at your house, and it’s a single.” (Did I mention it was a small town?)

        “Don’t you worry, Preacher,” said Uncle Oscar. “I figure you Baptists are so damn narrow, you can sleep six to a bed.”

        1. Great story sounds like a real child of God to me by the cussing on the end. -OH i forgot the bunch on here have no clue what that is.my bag I thought this was a CHRISTIAN site ! Big Gary-u a clown boy!

  4. Darrell, This isn’t the Sammy Allen crowd. They have their campmeeting in a giant warehouse type building on a separate campus from the church which is Concord Baptist in Reseca, GA. This campmeeting is in San Antonio, TX. However, the flag packing, hanky waving, and emotionalism are Sammy Allen flavored.

  5. These people are rock stars!

    Darrell, I may need to watch these type videos after taking a Valium. I vacillate between laughing with tears running down my face to feelings of rage in 2 seconds.

    @Don or Scorpio Is there a Doctor on board today? I need an appointment please. πŸ™‚

    1. Presbygirl – sorry I have been traveling this week so I have this thing on auto-pilot πŸ˜† .

      There may be no doctors here but there are probably at least 15 “Doctors” in the video.

  6. I think it’s videos like this one that made me question the “decently and in order” comment on that earlier post about interrupting the choir. Granted, this is a “camp meeting” and not a regular service, but still…

      1. This is so NOT my experience either. We were reserved and quiet and sang three hymns, the offering, and a prayer before the sermon. No screaming, yelling, hanky waving, running aisles, etc. in my fundy circles.

        1. I have never been in a meeting with this chaos going on. It must be a southern thing. In the midwest (in my experience) this would not be allowed.

        2. Meetings like the one in this video us what I grew up in, and what comes to mind when I hear “Independent Fundamental Baptist”. There was shouting, screaming, jumping, running, interrupting the singing every 3 minutes, and so forth. There were many times we didn’t even have preaching because of it. Oh, the videos I could send Darrel… He would have enough material to do him the rest of the year. πŸ™‚

          “Quiet” churches were considered dead and liberal. And yes, I’m from the south, so I agree that this is a southern thing for the most part.

        3. Teen services were like this at my church, because it was very much my youth pastor’s style. He would even order boxes of red and white hankies to be passed out for the teen service (I think it was color by gender, but the hankies might have been for men only, I’m not sure any more). The rest of the year had a lot of “Amen” yelling, but not any of the rest of this stuff, but this was definitely reminiscent of the annual Teen Service.

          Incidentally, our teen choir sang this song and I really liked it.

    1. This isn’t a southern thing, just certain Christians. Usually it is Pentecostal or a charismatic group, who combine this with speaking in tongues. My fundie church was flexible without going to this extreme. It is an Arkansas church with Texas roots.

      But apparently it is an old Baptist thing. I heard a lot of stories of grandpa’s Baptists. And they would say there were other IFB’s that were hollering churches. πŸ™‚

      1. This type of craziness varies among different groups. For example, in Greenville, SC, this happens at Tebernacle Baptist (where Harold Sightler pastored) but would NEVER happen across town at BJU.

        1. I went to that church while Dr. Sightler was still alive. Services were a big free-for-all, and the men all tried to outdo each other to get people to look at them. They openly sold merchandise off the platform during services (Dr. Sightler never preached on Jesus’ kicking the moneychangers out of the temple for some reason).

        2. When I was at the BOB, BJ3 would sneak into Tabernacle once in a while. He was a lot more pentecostal leaning than his daddy.

  7. Ahh yes. I just looked up the definition for nostalgia and, I am glad to say, I don’t have it. This type of meeting, BTW, was pretty much routine where I came from in fundyland. One time a guy got so happy he jumped up and down in the front and his dress shoe flew off and hit a poor lady in the face. But hey, stuff like that happens when God “shows up.”

  8. I wonder if it might be too much to ask to eliminate all of the “firsters” so that I know longer have to page down the first half-dozen entries to get to the meaningful comments.

    1. The problem is that even if no one has posted, by the time you’ve composed a meaningful response someone else has slipped by.

      But, I agree. I think we should put an end to this foolishness (he says, having already secured at least two first postings. :mrgreen: )

        1. No way. Waste of time for both writer and reader. On the other hand, I really enjoy reading the entries which actually respond to the original blog. This one in particular evokes a lot of memories of folks with little or no talent and the extreme response by some in the congregation. Been there; seen that.

  9. I’m not big on emotional displays (stoic has been used more than once to describe me), but if a song inspires someone to give a testimony, then they should give the testimony. If that testimony leads someone to speak a word of truth, then speak that word of truth. Once everyone has had their say, the service should be over, or continuing fellowship over a meal, like the early church. I’m just tired of the same order of service every Sunday. Can’t even mix it up on our picnic Sunday! 2 songs, read the word, pray, 2 songs, pray, offering, special song, sermon, song, pray, leave. And that’s my rant and rave.

    1. Been There, Done That.

      I’ve also done the Rollercoaster ride EVERY Sunday. Actually, every day, since most of these churches do meet every night.

      For those of you who’ve never experience this it may seem rowdy and crazy. But if you see it every day, if every day the same man picks up the flag, roughly at the same time, it quickly turns also into your “…two hymns, prayer, two more hymns, etc…”

      1. make that: “two hymns, same woman goes to the front to pray, same man interrupts as the Spirit leads him, same woman goes to be with the woman up front, etc.”

        For the regulars, the one thing that may have been different, and noticed by EVERYONE was the kid who got up. Or the third woman who went up front, or something like that.

        1. Exactly, Ricardo.

          Anything that falls into a repetitive pattern, even if seemingly chaotic, can take on the form of liturgy.

      2. Manufactured emotionalism? πŸ™ “I plan my spontaneous outbursts.”

        Funny how folks who hate liturgy somehow fall into rote themselves.

    2. What is a “word of truth”? Is it what we saw in this video – a raspy-voiced buffoon shouting baptist buzzwords at a bunch of aisle-running goofballs?

      1. Probably not. I guess what I’m trying to say is I get more out of people proclaiming and discussing their everyday Christianity than one man expounding on his interpretation of a particular passage, week after week, however good he may be.

        1. Ok, but can’t one wait until the hymn has ended to give the testimony that the Holy Spirit has just inspired?

  10. Just been doing some self-therapy to recover. You know what this reminds me of? Reminds me of the chicken coup when I was a kid. The strongest rooster used to do all sorts of stupid displays to assert his dominance over the lesser roosters and the lowly hens. And the dumb part is, they bought it…

    1. Yeah, I had flashbacks to my holy roller days, and was thinking how similar this was. All they needs is just a few of them vipers and a bit o’ speakin’ in tongues.

    2. In my youth, I actually visited a couple of services of snake-handling, tongues-speaking, Holy Roller Pentacostals, and their services were quieter and more orderly than this one.

      1. Lord, you really don’t want to rile up the snakes with all that racket! (My aunts and Grandma were Holy Rollers, but they weren’t secure enough in their faith to handle the snakes—maybe that’s why they got to be very old.)

        1. I guess that begs the question – is there such a thing as an “old” snake handler? πŸ˜•

          If you ever get the chance to see it, there was an excellent documentary called “The People Who Take Up Serpents”, which was about snake handling churches in Appalachia. It came out in the 1970’s, and was produced by Gretchen Robinson, who I think studied film at BJU.

        2. I’ve seen one called “The Holy Ghost People.” I don’t know if it’s the same documentary or not. It gives a faithful representation of what those meetings are like.

        3. I have seen a documentary about Appalachian snake handlers (my relatives were from Georgia), but I’m not sure which one it was. As much as I think they’re nuts, I have to respect the sincerity of their faith.

        4. “Holy Ghost People” is worth watching for the music alone. The singing and playing is very good and authentic.

        5. @Big Gary – That’s a different video, but it’s still good. I’ve not been able to find Gretchen’s video online anywhere.

          Elliot Wiggins of Foxfire fame also wrote something with the title “The People Who Take Up Serpents.”

    1. if they could just get some respect from all the tools with a lack of impulse control who won’t keep their hands and feet inside the pew and their fat lips sealed so the music can be enjoyed

      1. EPIC AMEN! I hated not being able to sing without the preacher interrupting me every other line to give a 6 minute mini sermon about the song I’m already singing! So many times I wanted to just scream “Be quiet!”, but that would’ve been rude.

  11. “Thank God I’m glad, Bro. Andrews, that when God looks at me, he don’t see that old dirty sinner no more, but he reckons me up as righteous, he reckons me up as holy, he reckons me up as a son of God….I’m glad the Bible also says beloved NOW are we the sons of God. Right now.

    You’re not looking at a child of the devil no more. I used to be a child of the devil. He used to be my daddy. What a sorry one he was. But thank God I got a new daddy. I’ve been adopted into a new family. Thank God I got a new family this morning that I can’t never get kicked out of.”

    I don’t know about their stance on emotionalism, CCM, etc. but what the first guy said is enough to make a Presbyterian shout. If I was there, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t be shouting “Hallelujah!” But maybe that’s just the charismatic in me.

    1. That’s a wonderful testimony! Too bad the glory couldn’t continue to be given to the Lord throughout the service instead of shenanigans (IMO – although of course I wasn’t there so I can’t judge their hearts.)

    2. Stephen – Glad you brought it up first, some very good things were said, some praise was offered to the Living God, I believe their sentiments were in the right place, but unfortunately, as PW pointed out some foolishness got inserted in there as well, and took the focus off of God and got it onto man.

      One of the things that is surely missing from the IFB is praise and worship of our heavenly Father, I think these guys were trying. Just try reading the Psalms, you find dancing, singing, shouting, raised hands and He is worthy of it all.

      Let’s all praise Him today!

        1. I’ve never used drugs, but I feel like I’m having an acid flash back when people use that phrase!

  12. Just a couple questions…

    1. Was that guy really wearing a brown suit with a yellow shirt and tie? From the famous, immortal words of Gunny Hartman, “I didn’t know they stacked s@#$ that high!” (R. Lee Ermey – Full Metal Jacket)

    2. Was there really a 50/60-some yr old man holding a baptist flag and skipping down the aisle like a little girl or were my eyes deceiving me?

    3. Are the men of the church ever going to let those girls finish their song? They definitely need to.

    1. It’s from Philippians 2:16.

      “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (KJV)

    2. “Holding forth” means presenting or offering something. So the quote actually makes sense.

      OK, now maybe I can get my inner English teacher to be quiet for a while.

  13. Wow.

    I was from a more BJU style background, and my wife’s family introduced me to this style of fundyland. (You should have seen me the first time I went to “pray” with the men before service. This minus the singing.)

    Biggest issue I have here is that we (and I say we since I was there for a time) fail to grasp that just because emotion sometimes follows a moving of the Holy Spirit, emotionalism does not equal the moving of the Holy Spirit. There seems to be a HUGE push towards emotional reactions in the false belief that the result is real Holy Spirit change. Sadly not the case.

    Second issue. How many men actually went to the “old fashioned altar” to pray about something. I saw 3-4 women and maybe 1 guy. I know I don’t know what is in their hearts, but seriously, are the women the only ones who sin. (Yeah, I know, of course they are, it is fundy-land.)

    Final issue. I know this is petty, but does the guy in jeans in the lower left actually pick his nose and eat it at 4:00. Bleh.

        1. Guess so. At least in my experience. Guess it’s a matter of who is dominant. πŸ˜†

    1. Rural Fundies (of the stripe I have known all my life) are all about “Southern Gospel” Music. It is preparation music. After getting the people stirred up like that the Preacher can whip the folks up to “Charge Hell with a squirt gun” … “go bear huntin’ with a switch.” Oh, this is good preparation; if a M-O-g can’t preach after an emotional frenzy like this then he can’t preach. This should almost guarantee all but the most backslidden rebellious hardhearted heathens amongst ’em will be down there cryin’ on the Altar during the invitation!

    2. From what I know, it was actually written by James McFall in 1969. I’m not sure if I spelled that last name right. The McFalls were a family who sang together for years, from the late 60s, into the early 90s. Not sure what “persuasion” they were.

  14. Okay, now my head officially hurts. It was trying to hurt earlier, but now, it carries the full characteristics of a headache.

    I was scared for that lady with the baby and that guy running past her. I would NEVER have my baby in that crazy place.

    And, notice the women were only allowed to sing, not speak like the men do. Textbook fundyland.

    1. In fairness, I watched the next clip and one of the young ladies at the pulpit gives a testimony. It’s followed by a man loudly shouting, “That’s the best testimony I heared!” So I guess the women are allowed to testify. But maybe not run the aisles. πŸ˜‰

  15. To all you PCC and BJU graduates, welcome to my world. We had the same beliefs with the bonus of weird worship styles. This was very much like a lot of services that I attended while I was growing up.

    I thought it was pretty good at first. I concur with a previous poster that the song and the first guy’s testimony were good…….then they broke out the Baptist Flag and started skipping around with it!

    I have seen people take off their socks and wave them, run the aisles waving an electric blanket over their head, put the offering plate on their head and run the aisles, grab the American Flag and run around and around the restaurant next door to the church until the police were summoned, once a man ran around the whole church building walking on his hands, at a campmeeting in GA a really big guy rounded a corner and crashed headon into another equally large man who was running the other direction (paramedics were called). I could go on listing things but you get the idea.

    It kind of reminds me of Ray Stevens:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K16fG1sDagU

    1. @Apathetic or whatever…I had to wait until my shoulders stopped shaking because I was laughing so hard before I could type again..PARAMEDICS were called after two large men ran into each other!!!!! Thank you for making me laugh!!!

      Did you ever consider privately selling tickets to these “events” with the caveat that of “do not try this at home or ever”?!?

      1. Hmmmm…..selling tickets would be a good idea. I sometimes fear that people will think I am making these stories up.

        I was always tempted to channel my inner soccer player. I always wondered what people would do if I tore off my shirt and ran around the auditorium yelling “GOOOAAALLL!”
        At some services noone would probably notice.

        1. I’ve been in the same type of services. I’ve even seen Bibles thrown around. I know you’re not making it up πŸ˜›

    2. These are hilarious! My husband is telling my similar stories right now. He grew up in churches just like this. I, on the other hand, grew up in very reserved BJU-type churches. Talk about culture clash when I visited his parents’ church for the first time. I was terrified.

        1. @Apatthetic or whatever….yes! And while I think this tune is talking about football you could sing DROP KICK ME JESUS THROUGH THE GOAAAALLLPOSTS OF LIFE!

          If you do rip off your shirt and run around we will DEFINITELY need video documentation please. I will buy a ticket for the premier!!

          πŸ˜†

        2. @Presbygirl,

          Now that song is on a continual loop in my brain! Thanks a lot. πŸ˜‰

          “I’ve got the will Lord if you’ve got the toe”.
          That is some classy, classy writing.

  16. And, having sung in craziness similar to that when I was a young, marriageable 19-20-year old, its an interesting view from on stage. The older guys are doing their own show and trying to get as much attention as they can. And, the younger, unmarried hanky wavers are smiling leeringly at you AND your potential breeding abilities.

    And, all the while, you’re wondering when you’re going to get hit with a Bible. πŸ˜‰

  17. This looks like the norm for this group. Notice the spacing of the pews for easy access to the aisle.
    The problem with this kind of emotional worship is that no one knows what to make of it. Are the participants really praising God or is this another church performance? I guess it is a matter of knowing the rest of the story and getting to know these people personally. It would not bother me to participate in something like this if it was with Christians I have known for years that I knew had a great appreciation for God, and there was more to our relationship than just praising God. Otherwise, this type of worship is awkward. David danced before God, but I doubt that he danced everytime he worshipped God.

      1. And I’m guessing, juuuussst guessing that you Natalie would know about whether an experience was the big “O” or not since you ummmm are married to Sexy Pants???:)

        P.S. I’d like to order a butt-cushion please!!!!

        1. Well, I don’t call him Wonder Schlong for nothing (was that TMI?) πŸ˜‰

          Butt cushion coming right up.

        2. @Natalie. Nah, takes a lot embarrass Presbygirl. That didn’t even come close to “flipping my wig”! πŸ˜€

        3. uh-h-h, yeah, TMI
          😯
          But back to my remark, yes this is a full blown IFB spiritual orgasim.

        4. 😯 Oh yeah, TMI 😳 (My wife and daughter-in-law would say πŸ˜† πŸ˜‰ )

        5. yeah, thanks george… There is no “I” in orgasm… (truth is found in the strangest of places)

        6. Hmmm… I have been known to refer to certain “worship” services as emotional masterbation sessions but… 😯

        7. “If there’s no β€˜I’ in orgasm, then someone isn’t doing it right.”

          Okay, you get a special butt cushion just for that comment alone.

      2. Natalie, I have been reading this site for several months, but I do not post. Please do not take this the wrong way, but your comments smack of insecurity. I think it is wonderful you find your husband loving and attractive, but most happily married people do not feel the need to broadcast it constantly. I too am married, and my husband and I enjoy all the wonderful things that go along with marriage; however, I do not brag about it on a daily basis. I know you think your comments are cute, sweetie, but they reek of desperation.

        1. Natalie’s exuberance and humor are part of what makes this site such a fun and unique community.

          Every marriage should be like the one described in Proverbs 5:18-19: “May your fountain be blessed,
          and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
          A loving doe, a graceful deerβ€” may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.” Natalie, keep rejoicing! We love you – and your butt cushions.

        2. PW, thank you. I really do appreciate that.

          My first comment was angry, but I asked Darrell do to delete it. I didn’t want to stoop to Alecia’s level. It makes me upset to just want to come on here and goof off with everyone, and then get personally attacked.

          My girls and I at work joke around about the same things that I do sometimes on here about our men, and trust me, these girls are neither insecure nor desperate (you should see some of them–they’re gorgeous).

          So, thanks again girl, and you know, I love you. πŸ˜‰

        3. someone there is not Natalie who has every right to be infuriated by the random driveby jealousy induced rage-a-post.

        4. @Rob –

          *kiss, kiss*

          WHAT?! Did I just kiss a man who is NOT my HUSBAND!!!???

          Damn that desperation. πŸ˜‰

          And cuteness. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

        5. I’ve never considered Natalie’s posts as insecure. Quite the opposite. I always see them as a woman who is secure in her husband’s love and secure in the sexuality God created in her. Oh, that all us women could feel that secure. As for bragging, Solomon has been bragging on the Shulamite woman for millenia.

        6. I guess I missed the part where I unleashed my rage and anger on Natalie.

          As a recovering fundy myself, I have enjoyed reading this blog and subsequent comments for quite a while now. While I find many of the comments funny, touching and even heartbreaking, I was merely attempting to point out that Natalie’s posts consistently refer to her husband and their thriving love life, and I just do not see the necessity in that. I realize these posters are adults and there have been several discussions regarding sex and intimacy, and that is entirely appropriate. However, when one person insists on bringing her personal life into every single post, it starts to become inappropriate and begins to look like a desperate act for attention.

      3. @Natalie β€œMy girls and I at work joke around about the same things that I do sometimes on here about our men, and trust me, these girls are neither insecure nor desperate (you should see some of them–they’re gorgeous).”

        Honey, it is wonderful to have girlfriends to joke around with, especially about your men. But this sentence just reaffirms my suspicions that you are terribly insecure. Just because a woman is β€œgorgeous” doesn’t mean that she is free of insecurities or other problems, even relating to the men in their life.

  18. So, I’m a bit out of the loop on this one? How exactly is this a camp meeting? I’ve been to tent revivals, and to camp meetings under pavilion type structures, under canopies, in the open air, and around camp fires. This looks like a complete climate controlled building to me, not a camp at all. I gather from comments that it is called a camp meeting, but I don’t really get “how” it qualifies. If anything I would call it some kind of retreat if this isn’t their main church/auditorium.

  19. Has anyone ever made the comment that, for many fundies, the old-fashioned altar has replaced the Jewish temple as the only place to meet God? Growing up, we were expected to ooze to the altar as a congregation, try to kneel or lean on someone who had found floorspace, and ask God for the smallest things or confess “tiny” sins. What happened to praying in your closet? (insert “coming out” pun here)
    I started to rebel, especially after learning that the veil had already been torn. Now, I save the altar for really huge decisions, and still I know in my heart that it’s only a way of telling myself that I’m “really committed” this time, or I’m psyching myself up to “follow through.”

    1. “Now, I save the altar for really huge decisions, and still I know in my heart that it’s only a way of telling myself that I’m β€œreally committed” this time, or I’m psyching myself up to β€œfollow through.””

      You’re still buying into that programming that a specific place in a building holds special sway over you. I’m not saying the Holy Spirit doesn’t prompt, but I’m thinking more and more it’s not the HS, but the emotional manipulation of the MOG that prompts people to come forward. Those “really big decisions” should be thought out in private without outside pressures or emotional influence. I still struggle with feelings of guilt if I don’t go forward when the pastor is trying to get every person in the building to the altar.

  20. Growing up, great emphasis was placed on “shouting.” When men did it, it was a loud “glory to Gaaaaaaawwwdddd!!!” but when the women would do it, it was just a high pitched scream, much like you’d hear in a horror movie when someone was getting hacked to death. It always scared the crap out of me. It has happened recently when I went to my parent’s church. I was sitting next to my mom and during the song service while a sister was singing a special, mom let out a caterwaul and I swear, I pooped a little. I remember as a kid the preacher would usually say something like “if that bothers you, you need to come up here and get right with Gawud. If you’re saved, that oughta fire you up.” So, the shouting and subsequent fear just made me further believe that I wasn’t saved. I know better now. The worship of God should be sweet and humble. Now when I see true worship, it’s attractive and awesome, and it doesn’t scare the living daylights out of me.

    1. YES. THIS. We were at my husband’s parents’ church, and the lady behind us let out a blood-curdling shriek, and I seriously almost fainted, it scared me so bad.

  21. Forgive me, but this just reminds me of the ex-preacher at the beginning of The Grapes of Wrath who admits to working his crowd up to an emotional frenzy so that he can sleep with one of the young women in attendance.

      1. Yes! My preschool-age daughter has walked in on several choice clips. The last time she walked in during a preacher clip she immediately asked “Is this a good one or a bad one?”

  22. @Tammy: “You’re still buying into that programming that a specific place in a building holds special sway over you.”
    I know, and I actually feel some guilt for going when I consciously know why I’m doing it. Some habits die hard.
    @Big Gary: you’re right. Shouldnt have used the verb “meet.” Maybe closer to “seek?” I only meant to point up the inconsistency taught in my church (maybe nowhere else) that when the temple veil was rent, it meant that not only did we all have access to God, but that we could talk to him anywhere. But then we were all told “you need to come to this altar and (take care of whatever need you had).”

  23. This type of service was not unusual when I was growing up. Sammy Allen had a lot of influence on the churches we attended. I’ve seen the running the aisles, kerchief-waving, wailing, etc., etc.–all from churches that denounced the disorderliness and confusion of the local Pentecostal churches.

    We even had a portly pastor who actually walked on top of the pews (not the seats, but the top of the backs). I still don’t know how he did it.

        1. No. He actually fell into a machine at the plant where he worked and was grinded up alive. This happened in the late nineties, I think. I was very young.

  24. @Tammy:
    I know, and I actually feel some guilt for going when I consciously know why I’m doing it. Some habits die hard.
    @Big Gary: you’re right. Shouldnt have used the verb “meet.” Maybe closer to “seek?” I only meant to point up the inconsistency taught in my church (maybe nowhere else) that when the temple veil was rent, it meant that not only did we all have access to God, but that we could talk to him anywhere. But then we were all told “you need to come to this altar and (take care of whatever need you had).”

  25. My favorite part…..”I cain’t never get keeeed-napped!!!”

    2nd favorite….tthe perfect A shape that the two ladies in the front row make when they try to hug. A pyramid of fat.

  26. Someone tried to start this kind of “movement” at one of my old IFB’s, but after a rather “portly” African-American lady stood up and started throwing her hat, purse and other random accessories at the pastor, he shut all that down pretty quick. One of the most entertaining Sundays I have ever experienced…

  27. Wow. I still cannot watch any of these videos to the end. How disrespectful to yell and scream while those girls are singing! As mentioned before, I have visited Pentecostal churches that were quieter than this. This would scare the daylights out of me. The first time I saw someone run laps around the church building, I started laughing. All I could think about was my mom telling me as a kid to “not run in church.” Wow. Really just wow. 😯

  28. Could you imagine being a first time visitor to a service like this? No wonder the church looks tiny they scare the crap out of all the normal people.
    Although, I can remember a couple chapel services at HAC that turned into a running the aisle and walking the pew tops fiasco. I just wanted to get up and leave.

  29. When we were in Louisville, Kentucky 40 years ago, our Young Couples Class met in the church basement while the adult women met upstairs in the sanctuary. There was one woman in that class who could be counted on to emit blood curdling screams accompanied by very loud foot-stomping on the floor above us. I think its been long enough that I can safety cite her first name – Izetta. Izetta, I’m very sorry to make light of your spiritual manifestation, but we were unable to hear what our SS Teacher was saying.

  30. The only spiritual manifestation that could possibly top this would be that movie where the fellow wanders into an African-American church service, gets into the spirit, and gradually starts removing his clothing. Wish I could recall the movie and the actor (no hair), and he was one of about 4 refugees from a nearby mental institution.

    1. I love the one from the Blues Brothers, with James Brown as the preacher. People flipping down the aisles, jumping in the air, and John Belushi standing there: “Can you see the light?” “(lots of swear words)I see the light!” “What light?” 😈

  31. Couldn’t even finish watching it. Started hyperventilating. I remember Sammy Allen screaming in my face while his spit flew all over me and the sweat from his face dripped into my lap…………needless to say, I got saved just about every time he did that…….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.