12 May 2008

Spring Jubilee--Monday Night

Tonight I went to my very first Calvin Evans Spring Jubilee revival meeting at the Scioto County (OH) Fairgrounds. This was the first night of the 12th annual meeting, and I have wanted to go for several years now. Having moved to southern Ohio, I am now close enough to attend and still get home in time to write about it.

Being an avid observer when in unfamiliar areas/situations, my first night was probably not the best possible night I will have. See, when I go into a new place, I have to take everything in, make observations, compare to mental schema I have to similar situations; only after this can I really determine how I feel about where I am and genuinely react to it. This always makes my first time awkward for me.

I got there about six minutes before the scheduled beginning time and took in the sight: hundreds of cars parked with the aid of recruited crossing guards/parking attendants; people walking to the shelter, some dressed like they just came from work (like me), others dressed in their Sunday best. Inside the shelter, most of the seats were filled and, surprisingly, back seats were available. They later announced that 1,410 people were there tonight.

I heard a roar of voices and noticed a circle of men at the front praying, crying out to God in a sound I had never quite experienced before: it was powerful.

Brian Baer began the service with a moment of silence for the recent passing of gospel legend Dottie Rambo, then sang "The Holy Hills" a cappella as the crowd joined in on the chorus. The McKameys (my Mom's favorite group) sang mostly older songs--which the audience much enjoyed. Calvin Ray Evans preached a sermon on the word "Nevertheless". The service closed with several people at the altar.

It was a very unique experience. Although I know I did not get the full effect due to my admitted hesitance in engaging myself in new situations, no matter how excited I may be to be there, I can't wait to go back and take in more.

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