Cowboy camp meetings are over a hundred years old in Texas, but the ones held in the Southwest area were started by Ralph Hall 77 years ago. He was a preacher, a missionary with a dream of teaching God’s Word to all of the ranch people of the West. He was sponsored by the Presbyterian church. Ralph Hall established many Sunday Schools, churches, young people conferences, and cowboy camp meetings during his fifty plus years of spreading the Gospel.
One of the first New Mexico camp meetings was at Nogal Mesa, East of Carrizozo, New Mexico in August of 1940. Nogal Mesa was chosen because the spot “made you want to remove your hat.” Their organizing committee decided cooks would be hired, benches would be donated and tents would be provided for services. There would be four prayer meetings under the tent. There were 120 in attendance at the first meeting and by the last day, 700 were fed in a little over an hour. Five whole beefs were consumed in five days, all cooked over an open fire.
Ministers of many [denominations] come to preach. When the people make their professions of faith, they are urged to go back to their homes attend the nearest church and become active Christians.
The Cowboy Camp Meetings are conducted in much the same way today. The local committees are responsible for securing the preachers, music minister, youth minister and other camp staff. The cooks prepare three meals a day. There is no charge but donations are accepted if one feels led to give to the cost of these meetings. The local committees handle the donations for each camp and see that all bills are paid. Nowadays the cost is between seven to fifteen thousand dollars for each camp meeting. Each camp pays an annual assessment fee based on camp registration to the Ranchmen’s Camp Meeting Association which is used for equipment maintenance, replacement and organization coordination.
Any person may go to a camp meeting to receive the great blessing of WORSHIP without distractions. This is a gathering of people from all [Christian denominations] and the preachers and song leaders will be from various denominations. You take your bedroll, tent or R.V… Bring your children and your friends…wear your blue jeans and bring your Bible…come for one service or three or four days…it will be an experience you will never forget.
You can go through the calendar provided on this site to see the schedule for the “Ranchmen’s Camp Meeting Association in the Southwest.” Other camp meeting associations reach into Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.
3 thoughts on “History”
I LOVE it!
I was one of the lucky ones to attend the Blue Spruce camp for four years. I can still hear Dr Halls Yo Ho which meant meal time. The camp was located just below Vallectio lake north east of Durango. He set up his chuck wagon in the sw corner of a big meadow. The girls tent was in the SE corner and the boys tent was all the way across the meadow in the north part of the meadow. The class rooms were among the blue spruce tres just below the girls tent.
He had cut down a couple of spruce trees and nailed 2 x 12 on the stumps for seatings
It was a beautiful place for a class room. Classes were every morning then lunch then rest for an hour than was one of the blesseda hour to go off by yourself and study your lessons. Then gather by a big pine tree in the middle of the meadow and play games till. It was time to wash up for supper. Then just about sunset we would have evening vesper service on the hill on the east side of the meadow. It would conclude just as the sun went behind the mountain.
Hi, I have been to camp 2 years in a row, by myself and I have anxiety problems. I loved it and everyone is so helpful. The food is to die for and, the kitchen staff is amazing they spend most of their time in the kitchen cooking and I want to say thank you for your help and support and every thing that they do. Mostly for our luck they are 💯 awesome and amazing and we never go hungry, the Chuck style meals are delicious and usually more than you can eat. the only thing that has changed is the kids are older, lol.
If you have a chance you should go and check it out, it runs for 5 days. It’s for the whole family and friends and the only thing that you need to bring is your bedroll and then you are good to go.