The Pleasant Grove AME Church will culminate the celebration of its Annual Camp Meeting Nov. 3. The theme is “Coming Home to a Great Camp Meeting with Praise, Thanksgiving and Fellowship: The Journey Continues.” This will be the first Camp Meeting held in the newly dedicated sanctuary and all members of the original families of Taylors Creek (now Ft. Stewart) and surrounding communities are invited to attend.
The week-long festivities begin on Sunday Oct 27, with the congregation dressed for old fashion day activities. The remaining celebratory events are Camp Meeting Revival on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. Oct. 29, “Tales of Taylors Creek” event where former residents will share their memories of life at Taylors Creek.
On Thursday at 7 p.m. we will discuss Tom’s Creek. At 7 p.m. Friday we will have an “Old School versus New School” Gospel Singing showcasing young and senior singers from the community.
The church family will travel to its original church site on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 11 a .m. for a memorial service, wreath laying and cemetery tour at noon.
Closing services will be held on Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. The Rev. John E. Morse, Jr. is the messenger. At 1:30 p.m. dinner will be served in the old time tradition on the grounds of the church. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. C. L. Anderson, whose family is from Taylors Creek and Willie and the pastor of Good Shepherd, St. Luke (Daisy) and Zachariah Baptist Church, Glennville is the invited messenger to “take the tent down” at 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
Recognized as one of Liberty County’s oldest religious celebrations, Pleasant Grove’s Camp Meeting was originated from the Strum Bay community near the former town of Willie, Georgia. The event moved to the Pleasant Grove at the former village of Taylors Creek in approximately 1919-1920. The only time it was not celebrated was during the period local residents of Taylor’s Creek, Willie, Strum Bay, Steward Town, Cypress Slash and other communities were finding new homes due to the buy out of their properties by the US Government to create Ft. Stewart (1940-41). Since that time it has been celebrated on the first Sunday in November at the present church site on Hwy 84 in Hinesville.
At Taylors Creek Camp Meeting was the gathering place for revival and fellowship for local residents, churches, family and friends from all surrounding communities to include Brunswick and Savannah. Camp Meeting at Hinesville took on new meaning as it now serves as the annual gathering of the African American residents and descendants of Taylors Creek and surrounding communities and disbanded churches. Thus, the adopted theme “the tie that binds.” Bethel AME Church, First Calvary Baptist Church, St. Luke Baptist Church, St. Thomas AME Church and St. Peter’s AME Church have always been a part of Camp Meeting due to church or family affiliations begun at Taylors Creek. Many surrounding churches have also adopted Camp Meeting since the move to Hinesville.
In 2003 an historical marker was erected by the Liberty County Historical Society at Pleasant Grove to honor the legacy and historical relevance of the 150 year old church, organized in 1869 and Camp Meeting Celebration. In 2008 an interpretive marker was erected at the original church site at Ft. Stewart designating the former church site as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013 the church erected a monument also at its original church site to commemorate the lives and the contributions of former church members, many of whom are buried in unmarked graves.
For more information please call the church at (912)368-3266.