2019 marks 150 years of Minnesota camp meetings. Our guest presenter this year, Dr. David J.B. Trim, director of General Conference Archives, Statistics, and Research, told attendees that in 1868 the Sixth General Conference Session formally voted to encourage our people to hold annual camp meetings. In response to this vote, the Adventist community in Minnesota held their first camp meeting around 1869 on a farm belonging to Elder William Ingraham, one of Minnesota’s Adventist pioneers.
Trim concluded that camp meeting played an important role in the development of the work in Minnesota since early church leaders held their meetings near major population centers to bring the Adventist message to as many people as possible.
In recent years that evangelistic flavor has shifted to the nurturing of church members. It is my conviction that the time has come for the church in Minnesota to again become a movement of evangelism. Camp meeting should be a spark for a new evangelism circle, creating engaged fellowship with communities.
On July 14, 2019 the Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees voted that “we continue to use all camp meetings as evangelism tools” to help keep the church relevant to our communities.