South Alabama Camp Meeting…..Changing Hearts and Lives for Eternity…….

South Alabama Camp Meeting!
South Alabama Camp Meeting!

..Recently we returned from the South Alabama Camp meeting and have so many stories, blessings and memories to share!  This congregation of dear folks go out of their way to make you feel loved and welcomed from the moment that you arrive!  This is  one of those old fashioned camp meetings with singing and praising the Lord and preaching that both lifts you closer to God and brings you to your knees in order to grow closer to Him.  Sometimes that is just what we need.  ………………………………………………………………………………………..

10th Anniversary of this amazing meeting!
10th Anniversary of this amazing meeting!

………..I would like to say a big heartfelt “thank you” to each and every pastor and evangelist that brought the Word of God to us during Camp Meeting!  Each message was power packed and life changing and I am grateful for such dedicated men of God!…………………….I heard preaching that told me that I am a soldier for the Lord and that “there is a cause!”  There is still a cause to stand for, so let us rise up and hold His banner high!  Was reminded to rest in my dear Saviour’s care.  He has never broken one promise or failed one of His children ever!  So, go to “sleep” knowing who holds you and who holds tomorrow.  I found cause to take hope and courage when I heard “it is not as bad as it seems!”  Things could be a lot worse!  God is good and blesses and takes care of us in the middle of seemingly bad situations.  Then the words of the old hymn echoed in my mind…”There is a Balm in Gilead.”  There is healing  at the cross of Jesus Christ and through Him alone.  Challenged to not forsake a deep and devoted prayer life not only for personal request but for individuals I may never meet, but only know the need.  The thought provoking question was asked…”What kind of legacy will you leave when this life is over?” ” What story and testimony are you leaving behind in this world?”  Then came that kind of preaching that folks say may hurt and take you to your knees, but is a necessity in a Christian’s life….We were all reminded to be real Christians….don’t wear masks…”costumes” or put on a front that is pretend…..Beware of becoming so good at knowing how to “play” church that you miss reality with God.  Stay real and close to Him and keep your nose in His Word…this was the challenge!  Powerful!…………………………………………………………………..

Emmy visiting with Braiden Bevan....
Emmy visiting with Braiden….

………………………..We absolutely love visiting with folks and making friends!!!  Here is Emmy visiting with a good friend after a service.:)…………………………………………………………………….

Matt meeting Dr. Joe Arthur.....tremendous man of God that preached twice at the meeting.......
Matt meeting Dr. Joe Arthur…..tremendous man of God that preached twice at the meeting…….

………………………..Dr. Joe Arthur was such an honor to meet.  He was so down to earth and real and preaches the Word with such power!…………………………………………………………………..

Southern Raised and Dr. Joe Arthur.....this pose was his idea!!:).......He has a wonderful, funny personality!
Southern Raised and Dr. Joe Arthur…..catching a pose:)….He has a wonderful, funny personality!

……………Pastor Billy Bevan is the man who had the vision for this camp.  We met Bro Billy a little over 2 years ago at a camp meeting in Arkansas.  Over the course of these 2 years our lives have been blessed and enriched by our friendship. Bro Billy and his sweet wife, Mrs. Gloria have become like adopted family to us!  Proverbs 27:17 rings so very true,”Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” They have certainly blessed and “sharpened” our lives!  I found this quote recently and could not agree more….. “There is a brotherhood within the body of believers, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the common denominator. Friendship and fellowship are the legal tender among believers. The friendships that are developed among Christians have a depth and reality that you will find nowhere else in the world!  God truly does send folks into your life along this earthly journey that are Heaven sent blessings.  They are used by God in unique ways to brighten our pathway and lighten our load.  We feel that Bro Billy and Mrs. Gloria are such gifts from God. Take a moment and think of those people in your life that are there in good times and bad, always bringing that ray of sunlight that was needed!

I am so grateful that Bro Billy had a heart and passion for this camp meeting’s conception 10 years ago!   I truly believe with all my heart that eternity alone will unveil the souls that were saved, the lives that were changed, spirits that were lifted and homes that were helped though the South Alabama Camp Meeting.  I want to thank Bro Billy and Mrs Gloria for their love and friendship that has meant more to us than words could ever express!!!  We love you both very much! Thank you Bro Billy and all the Sardis Church family for the work and heart you put into this meeting!  We love each of you very much!  ………………………………………………………………………………………………

Southern Raised and our dear friend Pastor Billy Bevan...We love you Bro Billy!
Southern Raised and our dear friend Pastor Billy Bevan…We love you Bro Billy!

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Here is a group of us at lunch at a local restaurant.......
Here is a group of us at lunch at a local restaurant…….Southern Raised is at the very far end enjoying the southern cooking:)

…………………………We received such gracious hospitality!  We were treated to lunch at an amazing local restaurant!:)  But, sweeter than the meal we enjoyed was the people and conversation around the table!………………………………………………………..

Pastor Billy Bevan's (A staunch Alabama fan) office decked in orange and blue!!!!:)
Pastor Billy Bevan’s (A staunch Alabama fan) office decked in orange and blue!!!!:)

……………………….These pics are of Pastor Bevan’s office completely decked in Auburn orange and blue!!!  No one really admits to this act of sabotage, but for some reason Bro Bevan thinks we are responsible?????:)………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Love this!!!.....His "Happy Place!!!!"
Love this!!!…..His “Happy Place!!!!”

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Pastor Billy Bevan in his "ORANGE and BLUE" office!!!:):)
Pastor Billy Bevan in his “ORANGE and BLUE” office!!!:):)

…………………These dear people in the below pic are the hosts of one of the best fellowship gatherings you have ever seen!:)  Gran and Grandy,…..are the pictures of not only true southern hospitality, but reflectors of the love of Jesus Christ.  They make every individual feel loved, important and welcomed into their home.  Thank you Gran and Grandy for being a tool of the Lord to bless so many! ………………………………………………………………………………………..

Earl and Jeanne Gilmore..otherwise known as Gran and Grandy:)......they are the precious folks that hosted those wonderful fellowships each night after camp meeting!
Gran and Grandy:)……they are the precious folks that hosted those wonderful fellowships each night after camp meeting!

……………………………………………When they have these fellowships, they often not only include good conversation, but lots of music and singing!:)

Everyone has such a grand time at these singings/fellowships!
Everyone has such a grand time at these fellowships!

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Hand clapping good time!:)
Hand clapping good time!:)

……………………………..Dr. Joe Arthur is a musician as well!  It was so great picking some music with him!:)……………………………………………………………………

This must have been "Musicians Corner":).....kinda looks like a tangled mess of instruments!!!.....OH! and Dr Arthur wanted to play my bass.....and he tore it up!!!
This must have been “Musicians Corner”:)…..kinda looks like a tangled mess of instruments!!!…..OH! and Dr Arthur wanted to play my bass…..and he tore it up!!!

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Everyone joins in on these jams and sings.....
Everyone joins in on these jams and sings…..

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I love this pic!!! It looks just like Daddy is playing the mandolin and singing!!!!:):)......He was just holding it for Emmy........:)
I love this pic!!! It looks just like Daddy is playing the mandolin and singing!!!!:):)……He was just holding it for Emmy……..:)

…………………………….I love how everyone jumps in with requests or someone would just start off on a song and the musicians would jump in!  ……………………………………………………………………………….

Pick it!:)
Pick it!:)

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House full of brothers and sisters in Christ having sweet fellowship!
House full of brothers and sisters in Christ having sweet fellowship!

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Mama, Bro Billy Bevan and his grandson Brandon Bevan visiting at a table during the jam:)
Mama, Bro Billy Bevan and Brandon visiting at a table during the jam:)

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Singing with Mrs. Frannie Morrison during the jam
Singing with Mrs. Frannie during the jam

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Sarah and Daddy hanging out:)
Sarah and Daddy hanging out:)

………………………………….One cool thing with jam sessions is trying to learn things from other musicians and pickers!  We love to swap licks and learn new things!  This is kinda a universal plus to jams!:)…………………………………………………………………………………..

Matt and Jay Shuler swapping licks......
Swapping licks……

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Loved the fellowship!
Loved the fellowship!

………………………………I love this below shot! ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

This is one of those funny moments.....Dr. Joe Arthur and Bro Billy Bevan giving each other a hard time!......classic!:)
This is one of those funny moments…..Dr. Joe Arthur and Bro Billy Bevan enjoying good Christian fellowship!……classic!:)

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Bro Billy Bevan making a presentation to Southern Raised!!!!:)
Bro Billy Bevan making a presentation to Southern Raised!!!!:)

………………………..Now…..the explanation for these two pics lies in the previous pics of Bro Billy’s “ORANGE” office!:):)  He for some “unknown” reason thought we were responsible for all that orange and blue stuff and figured he would make our last night of camp meeting very “special”!!!!:):)  We were up there doing the pre-service music and we were like 10 minutes or more into it and Sarah looks at me and mouths…”where is Bro Billy?”  He was nowhere to be seen and all that could flood our minds were the previous “threats” of somehow teaching us not to sabotage someones office in orange and blue!!!!   (That is assuming we actually were responsible:)  Sure enough….our fears were totally legitimate!!!  Here he comes a short time later down the center aisle of the church with  a straw hat with a large crimson band around it and a big “A” plastered on the front!!!!  Then he proceeds to share with the church how that very afternoon he discovered that he had been driving around town with an Auburn license plate on the front of his truck!!!  And…..once again…for some reason he immediately thought we did it!!!:):):)…..What do y’all think?????:):):)……………………………………………………………………………………

I think he loved every minute of this!!!.....I must admit it was funny:)....I cannot believe I said that!
I think he loved every minute of this!!!…..I must admit it was funny:)….I cannot believe I said that!

………Soooooo, you would think that would be enough “punishment” for someone who was not even really “convicted” of a crime!!!  But, that was the wrong thought for sure!!!!  We come out of a wonderful service at the nights end, only to find our table completely covered in Alabama Crimson!!!!  I mean decked out!!!!  I hate to admit that  it was funny……and IF we had been the ones decking out his office in orange and blue and IF we had been the ones to put the plate on his truck and those are big IF’S……then I could see that this was justifiable!!!!:):):)  Anyhow, this was quite an ending on the last night of camp meeting!!! …………………………………………………………………………………………

Here is our table!!!....Sabotaged with Alabama everywhere!!!......
Here is our table!!!….Sabotaged with Alabama everywhere!!!……

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Telling friends goodbye...it is always so sad to leave!
Telling friends goodbye…it is always so sad to leave!

………………………….I tell you, it is so sad to say goodbye to the good friends we see!  Love and appreciate all these wonderful relationships!:)………………………………………………………………………………………..

Lindsay and Ryan....a little friend from the camp meeting
Lindsay and Ryan….a  friend from the camp meeting

…………………………Y’all must check out the South Alabama Camp Meeting!  I promise you will be blessed to full and overflowing!!!:)  Put it on your calendar for next year!  Hope to see y’all there!  May God bless y’all….more soon!…Lindsay…………………………………………………………………………………….

South Alabama Camp Meeting motto....."No agenda but Jesus!"
South Alabama Camp Meeting motto…..”No agenda but Jesus!”