“Another Glorious Eliada Camp!” – by Lucius Bunyan Compton

Rev. Compton standing next to the newly enlarged dining hall, getting things ready for the Camp Meeting in August of 1921.

“Another glorious Camp Meeting has come and gone. We convened on the evening of August 11th with a grand opening Rally and a record-breaking audience, and closed Sunday night, August 20th, with another wondrous victory. At no time in our past did we have so many people come on the first night of Camp, and they kept coming until the very last service.”

“This Camp has gone into history, but it has not gone from our hearts, our memory, or from our souls. The shouts of the saints are heard as they were during the earliest days. We had with us people from California to Canada, and from the Gulf to the Lakes, all who gathered on this “Beauty Spot” to hear from God’s book the Truths that are forever settled in heaven.”

“Our Meeting is unlike any other meeting in this country, in that no denomination is in control. Our speakers are made up of men belonging to different churches, and they are known for their deep love of the Eliada Camp. There is never any solicitation for money for any purpose. Free-will offerings are received only at the evening meetings, excepting Sundays. The people are taught to make giving a part of their worship, so God can bless in all that is done. No other Camp is conducted just like the one here at Eliada.”

“We first opened in 1906 for the purpose that the poor might hear the gospel, and our method of running the Camp was with that purpose in mind. In the early days our guests came to the meetings in ox-carts and mule-drawn covered wagons. Then the horse and buggy days gave way to the automobile. They stayed in tents, and the small white city presented a magnificent view for at least a half-mile before reaching the Campground.”

“But still there was not enough space for everyone. So our family at Eliada willingly gave up their rooms and beds to our guests, and the children slept on the floor. Our schoolroom was converted into a dormitory, as well as our library. Not everyone had their home comforts, but they seemed to enjoy that we had spared no means, or time, to try and make them as comfortable as possible. If there was one word of complaint from anyone, it never reached my ears. Yet our lack of proper accommodations continued to hinder us.”

“So the tents of the early Camp days were upgraded to cottages and substantial buildings. We constructed a large, commodious dining hall with dormitory rooms on the second floor, and converted the old Tabernacle into additional cabins to be used as dormitory rooms.”


Eliada Orphanage Camp Grove – a large crowd files into the original Tabernacle. “Tent city” can be seen on the right. The new Tabernacle will be built just below the dining hall, located  in the foreground. (Photo ca. 1918)


The New Tabernacle

“This gave us ample space for those who do not care for tent life. And we erected a glorious new Tabernacle, with a seating capacity for nearly two thousand people, including easy access for several hundred more within hearing distance. God wants these spiritual centers where His people can gather and hear His word.”

“Our new Tabernacle is meant to be the best throughout the southland—in fact, there is nothing in this section of the country that can compare with it. It was built in the amphitheatre style, where every seat is elevated above the other, and there is not a column or post within this vast structure. All of this has been done through the kindness of a dear friend in East Orange, N.J., who secured for us a patent truss roof that spans eighty feet, as the Tabernacle is 80 x125 feet.”

“Supported by concrete columns, it will doubt will be standing when both this writer and our readers will have passed on to the silent land. We are now able to accommodate the overflow crowds so they hear the full gospel—all of this in just the few short years since our first Camp meeting in 1906. May the Lord abundantly bless us all.”


Gerald Winrod (far left) a featured speaker at the Eliada Camp Meeting (Photo ca. 1930's)

Gerald B. Winrod, (far left) was a regular speaker at the Eliada Camp Meetings. His contraversial organization, “Defenders of the Christian Faith,” held their annual conference on the Eliada campgrounds throughout the 1930’s. Max Wertheimer, a converted rabbi, is second from right; Rev. Lucius Bunyan Compton is at the far right.


A Time of Victory

“It is apparent that this most recent gathering at the Eliada Orphanage Camp Meeting was in every sense of the word the greatest meeting that has ever been held here. We were indeed very happy to have with us again our heart friend Dr. Gerald B. Winrod, who always delights his audiences. He has recently returned from Europe and will give us much first hand information and current events from the East in the light of prophecy.”

“Dr. Winrod never preached in all his life as he preached this year at the Eliada Camp. The dear man has passed through a time of crucifixion and great sorrow. He is being misunderstood, misrepresented, and malignantly lied about. Yet the Lord is using him to make a greater preacher, a more humble preacher then he has ever been in the past. The throngs filled the Tabernacle to hear his masterful message. A few other addresses were on prophecy, the majority preached on the gospel, and they could not be excelled by any we have heard elsewhere.”

“Dr. Max Wertheimer, the converted rabbi, will again have the morning bible study hour. Dr. Wertheimer has been with us a number of times, and is greatly loved in our midst. Our people would be greatly disappointed if we should miss having the man who has devoted his life to the Holy Scriptures. His profound teachings from the Greek and Hebrew scriptures have always been a great source of help and illumination.”

“D.J. Fant, the famous Railroad Engineer Evangelist, was greatly used during his time at Eliada. His life on the engine, from Atlanta to Greenville, has preached louder through the Southland than his voice in the pulpit. I always enjoy hearing Fant preach, and many times I have been in his home and on his engine, and for as long as I’ve known him he measures thirty-six inches to the yard, for God and full salvation, wherever you might find him.”

“But one of the greatest hours of inspiration is the early morning prayer hour. From 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. the people meet under the large Tabernacle and kneel in the straw around the altar for one hour of prayer. We have always considered this prayer hour one of the most valuable hours of the entire Camp.”

“Truly this Eliada Camp was a time of glorious refreshing and victory. We thank God for it, and now we look forward next year to another Camp, when we trust our many friends from the North, South, East, and West will again rally with us, the Lord willing, at Eliada.”

–by Rev. Lucius Bunyan Compton


 – The Eliada Tabernacle –

Standing room only at an early morning service in the new Tabernacle (Photo ca. 1921)


A large crowd filing out of the new Tabernacle (Photo ca. 1921)

Eliada Camp grounds during the 1950’s. The dormitory cabins are on the left.

The remains of the Eliada Tabernacle at the dawn of a new millennium


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