58 thoughts on “Tent Meetings”

  1. I go away for TWO SECONDS and miss being first!!!

    That’s IT… I’m moving to the OTHER side of the church…… again.

    1. Stay on your own side of the church! My side is for people who stand in the gap of not going to movies and no pants on women!

      I am so filled with Christ’s love that I would never allow any worldly, in-the-flesh, hefiers anywhere near me! That “love they neighbor” trash is for sissies and liberals!

      And if that does not sound strange to you then you might be a fundy.

      1. Brother Jason, I thought that by now you should know that I occupy two seats in our great sanctuary, one on either side of the church. No one sits in MY seats as it is WELL known that they are mine.

        Once, some ignorant visitor happened to wonder in poor and hungry and attempted to sit in my seat. I told him to reMOVE his apostate self from MY seat and told him to go to the soup kitchen if he’s hungry…. I mean, what are we? CHARITY or something?



  2. And you can’t get up and excuse yourself without first giving the “invisible finger”.

  3. Back in my extreme fundy days, I loved Tent Meetings. I’m not sure why now that you put it like that…mosquitoes, heat, bad chairs…etc.

  4. His sermon must have transended the need for Scripture after he read his requisite (2) verses. I guess his big ol’ black 1611 KJV was in the way on the podium so he put it in the chair, …behind him, that way it would not distract from his sermon. Amen?

  5. these still go on?? They’ve been made holy as the only way to stir the hearts because it’s the way it’s always been done right??

  6. The last tent meeting I was in was in the mountains of upstate NY. It was muggy as all get out, and my group (a gospel quartet) was all decked out in black suits. We had petitioned our fearless leader that we might shed at least the coats, but no can do. So we sat under that tent, sweltering. I am happy to report that I spent most of the night daydreaming about what kind of sniper rig I’d need to pick off a cow on the next mountain over.

    Meanwhile the absolute worst I was in was in Lancaster, PA. The tent was located on the church property less than 20 feet from the air-conditioned building that was locked all week long. Oh, and it was the middle of August in Amish country PA, so it was easily in the 90s or higher all day. The quartet members had all taken a week of vacation and brought their families on the trip – enjoy Amish country by day and sing by night, right? Ha. The miserably disagreeable and morbidly obese preacher (just because you’re the guy who stands in the pulpit all week doesn’t mean you’re the pastor) decided that since we were part of the services we should join him in soulwinning all week long during the day. Our leader politely refused, so the preacher demanded that we move our bus off the property during the day (which meant killing all the water and sewage hookups every day, for those of you who have ever traveled in an RV) if we weren’t going to support his church’s efforts.

    I heard through the grapevine that the preacher didn’t last another month after that tent meeting before his congregation wisely showed him and his son the door. 💡

    1. Looking at the pic above, I was irreverently thinking that the men on their knees at the altar might be praying, “Please forgive us for coming to a church meeting in our shirt sleeves instead of a suit!”

    2. Surely that was the inspiration for “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”?!? ❓

      “Hot August night and the leaves hangin’ down
      And the grass on the ground smellin’ – sweet.
      Move up the road to the outside o’ town
      And the sound o’ that good gospel beat
      Sits a ragged tent, where there ain’t no trees
      And that gospel group, tellin’ you and me

      It’s Love, Brother Love
      Say Brother Love’s Travellin’ Salvation Show.
      Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies
      And everyone goes, ’cause everyone knows, brother Love’s show.

      Room gets suddenly still and when you’d almost bet
      You could hear yourself sweat – he walks in.
      Eyes black as coal and when he lifts his face
      Every ear in the place is on him.
      Startin’ soft and slow, like a small earthquake
      And when he lets go, half the valley shakes….

  7. Years ago my father attended the tent meeting where I was assistant pastor – his comment was –

    “why do we have to endure the heat and mosquitos when there is a brand new, air-conditioned auditorium 50′ behind us?”

  8. I always wondered why we had to use a tent to have yet another church service during the week. 🙄

    I’m so thankful that my parents RARELY attended these services since they were always during the work week. I usually lucked out. 😎

    I did have to play piano for them a few times though…I remember that wooden piano bench literally sticking to my slacks from all the heat!

    1. @exOBCstudent:

      1st paragraph: Because in the old days, they met in a tent, and we want to show we HAVEN’T CHANGED! (please look the other ways as we drive our cars and fly our airplanes)

      3rd: You wore slacks!?! No wonder you became a heathen backslider posting on rebellious blogs like this!


      1. Lol I def have to be a rebel now that I’m posting here. I’d have worn shorts if they’d have let me but ya know what they say about guys showing their legs in shorts…. 🙄

        1. Guilt Ridden was probably presuming you were a female, since it’s easier to make fun of fundies complaining about women in slacks than males in slacks. Your handle isn’t necessarily indicative.

  9. We only went to one, and it was a “children’s revival” (about as useful as the Children’s Crusade of the middle ages). That tent smelled like a combination of pee and mildew. We were also forced to go to “camp meetings” (which involved no camping, no smores, no campfire, only hours and hours of hero worship) when my dad got into the IFB cult college. A few years later, after we left that church, Billy Kelly, the owner of the camp meeting said “A bunch of Mexicans called and wanted to come. I told ’em that if they wanted a camp meetin’ to get one of their own.” At that point in the service, a large group of Korean Christians got up, and walked out.

    1. Glad for the Koreans that they figured out they should just leave. They made the right move. I am as white as you can get, but I would have left, too.

  10. I know of a group that decided to go back into a tent for their annual conference because the tent was going to be “AirConditioned!!!” (Translation – it had a big fan and water misting equipment) — that concept lasted exactly two years… until someone figured out that it would cost a whole-lot-less money to install a/c in the gymnasium located on the same grounds… 😆

  11. Even back when I was an uber-fundy I sincerely hated tent meetings. They were fairly common back in the sticks where I lived. I hated them for the reasons Darrell listed plus having to hike across a field to the air-conditioned building to use the bathroom.

  12. Slaps self.

    How could I have forgotten. I went to a tent meeting featuring Jerry Falwell and Bob Harrington-The Chaplain of Bourbon Street. I was v young at the time and it was before either one of them became ‘famous’. I don’t remember much about it. Maybe I was mentally trying to block it out of my mind.

    1. Was Bob Harrington the street preacher with the sign that used to walk down Bourbon St? He wasn’t there last time I was through there. Kinda missed him. He was part of the atmosphere. Couldn’t really hear what he was saying, but it’s just not the same without him.

  13. Hey, kneeling at the platform was prolly more comfy than the chairs! And everybody’s doing it! 🙄

    1. They’re not actually praying. The service was probably no less than 4 hours, and it’s no earlier than 11 pm. They’re sleeping, therefore providing fodder for the next sermon covering the sin of sleep and laziness (topics covered will be prayer, soulwinning, other preachers, etc.)

  14. And in the SUMMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No problem with them in the fall or spring thouhg—sorta like outdoor concerts, just a change of venue and such.

    Makes no sense if you have a sanctuary with AC big enough to seat them all right next door though–only makes sens eif its big and in a good location
    (We had one in a all Spanish neighborhood with interpreters years ago and it went well-and this was a Reformed baptist group)

  15. Why don’t we have revivals this way anymore? It’s because we as a people have gone soft! We want to sit in our comfortable pews, with the air conditioning running, and not worry about a thing while others TOIL out on the mission field. Those metal folding chairs are too hard for you? Well, friend, I’m sure Jay-sus didn’t think the cross was too hard for him, Haymen? These bugs bothering you, well if you would support Sister Ellis with her Avon Book, she could sell you some Skin So Soft to keep the skeeters away. (She only does this when she’s not tending me and our 5 children under the age of 7, you know.) You think this is HOT? Just outside the doors of Satan’s Haellll is much hotter than this, Haymen? This generation has gone much, much too soft, I tell you.

    1. I just don’t want to sit in a tent while some guy screams about everything that is wrong with me. I know I’m fallen. Tell me about what is right with me now I am in Jesus.

      1. Focusing on Jesus inspires and empowers. Focusing on myself breaks me down with guilt or overwhelming responsibility.

        We used to sing “More, More about Jesus” – too bad the preaching that followed the song didn’t usually take the song’s advice.

  16. Oh this brings up a painful memory of my old church in Michigan under the first pastor we had. Every year on the Sunday closest to the fourth of July he had to have this idiot tent out in the back of the church and of course several weeks ahead of time he was begging for money for it. Then that Sunday would always be so stinking hot. He’d have an evangelist in who was the son of some church members and he would go on for an hour and a half. I was dying in the heat, sweating something awful and fanning myself, my butt falling asleep on the hard chair and thinking the same as some of you have mentioned, why are we doing this instead of having the service in the air conditioned church with padded pews only a few feet away? It was so much agony. Why do IFB’s think it’s more holy to be uncomfortable? I once heard a woman say that she always wears her most uncomfortable clothes to church as if it honors God for us to be uncomfortable. Why? This could have gone under the “gimmicks” category since it seems every IFB preacher thinks it’s so much fun to sweat under a hot tent at least one Sunday every summer. In the years after this, I would stay home on the Sunday of that stupid tent like the horrible backslider they think you are if you consider your comfort above their idiot gimmick! 😈

    1. I’m thinking the theory is: the more uncomfortable you are, the less likely you are to fall asleep during the sermon and miss the altar call.

    2. this is just more proof of the gnostic underpinnings of fundamentalist dogma. It IS the resurgence of the Colossian Heresy. Those of you who seem to care so much about the comforts of your flesh have clearly given in to the evil nature of your physical body.

  17. This reminds me of a song by Bryn Haworth, a Christian musician. ‘More than a Tent, a Gateway to Heaven.’ It tells of how he went for a drive while on a US tour, saw a tent and went in because he thought it was going to be a circus. He then became a Christian.
    Not saying that this justifies all tent missions but sometimes it’s good to hear of a positive outcome.

  18. Going against the flow, I do enjoy most tent meetings. I just have a few minutes to post; I have to pack to leave for the last tent meeting of the summer! Hehe I don’t think they are as formal as they use to be –back in the day….thank God! Now the preacher does still wear his suit & tie but I have seen a lot of the congregation is going more casual.

    The big name *fake Drs. use to preach these saw dust meetings but most don’t anymore. I would say more on the grounds of they’ve gotten too big for these. They’ve just changed the names to God & Country rallies & moved it to coliseums or ballparks. They’re all about ME, ME, ME! And I can’t stand it!! But there are still some churches that enjoy them. Some of us are still in it ministering hoping to share a ray of hope. We are making a difference. (That’s not saying I don’t have to bite my tongue a bunch!) On the other hand, my husband’s schedule is very booked & he is making a BIG difference. We know we’ll never change the SOTL people but by helping those smaller churches <400 members- I think we can make a change. My heart breaks for the younger ones who have never been shown another way. 🙁

  19. This is one fundie (but also evangelical, Pentecostal) tradition I was spared from as a child. My parents come from a Reformed background and view tent revivals as something for white trash. Also after moving to Maryland, a local church had a tent revival and someone died of heat stroke.
    We did once go see Jack Van Impe at the local racetrack. My parents were not impressed. We never again were taken to any type of revival service that did not take place at the church.

    1. How sad you lump all into a pile as “white trash”. I am not easily offended because I know you simply lack understanding (by your own admission.) Not all people are reached by one type of ministry but working together for one cause, maybe we can help someone else. Be careful not to rely too heavily on what parents or others teach. That’s how most of us were caught up in the circle…Just be careful – you may be in one!

      1. And you need to chillax and learn to distinguish statements of past fact from statements of belief. The OP didn’t say he felt everyone who goes to a tent meeting is “white trash.” He said he was spared the experience of going to one because of his parents belief.

        1. Mark only spoke of his parent’s beliefs & impressions. He didn’t disassociate himself from those beliefs. “and view tent revivals as something for white trash” – That can only be read 1 way – Who are they for? Mark T. You read a whole more into Mark than I did. But it’s all good 🙂

  20. The last “tent meeting” I attended was in the boot heel of Missouri while my parents were on deputation. From the pulpit, the preacher referred to a black man working under Bill Clinton’s administration as a N____.
    I sat there shocked along with my family who generally like to thinly veil their racism. Because we didn’t heartily ‘Amen’ the preacher looked at our section and said “I can see where the democrats are sitting”. 😯 Sooo, not too fond of the camp/klan meetings…

    1. That is HORRIBLE!! I hope your family got up and walked out! My husband & I have been known to walk out of a service for MUCH less than that. THAT IS SICKENING!

  21. My group has performed at several tent meetings through the years, and we usually enjoy them very much. Last year we were delighted to see a whole family…mom,dad, 2 preteens call upon the Lord for salvation in a tent meeting. It does get hot at times, and of course it’s not as comfortable, but I kinda like it because it does seem ol-timey.

  22. My catholic church had a tent meeting about 5 years ago. I never went tho because I was not a catholic at the time but was really curious about what they did there. I have heard since that they had a real good catholic evangelist there.

  23. My old cult church is setting up the tents as I type this! I hated being run ragged the the weeks before and then having to sit through the SAME messages that are repeated year after year. Screaming, crying, and a bunch of idiots getting all worked up about nothing or ranting. Of course, the theme this year is 400 years of KJV.
    If I want some entertainment I can click on streaming live cult TV at oldtimebaptist.com and watch the clowns in action. You will be able to see several losers featured on previous SFL posts 😆

    1. Yay! Another Old Time Baptist member! I always hated those camp meetings and being eaten alive by the mosquitoes as the men of the church acted like idiots.

  24. My fundy church used to have tent meetings in the parking lot behind the church, but it was because the church was literally too small to hold everyone. It was a lot more comfortable in the large tent than it was having 1,500+ people crammed into a building that could only hold 1,200, and with 800 others in the gym watching the service on a projector, like they used to do. (watching a live service on a projector in another building with a group of fundies is a bit awkward!) But now they rent a larger facility so we don’t have to deal with the horrid tents anymore.

Comments are closed.