Jul. 6—Marietta Campmeeting, a Christian revival service dating back to 1837, will return for its 183rd season Friday, following the cancellation of the program in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The 2020 cancellation was rare for Marietta Campmeeting — the event has only been called off once in the organization's history due to the Civil War.
"I was disappointed last year that we had to postpone it, because it's been a yearly thing for so many years of my life," said Cheryl Lassiter, treasurer of Marietta Campmeeting Tentholders Association. "I'm glad we're back this year, live and in color."
Lassiter has been attending Marietta Campmeeting with her husband Narvel and their children for 34 years. The Lassiters own two of the 23 cabins on the Marietta Campground property, though they are commonly referred to as "tents" by attendees.
"We call that 'holy ground,' because you can feel God there," Lassiter said. "That's what the Campmeeting means: the ability to worship and get closer to God."
The 10-day event will kick off with an opening picnic from 6-7 p.m., followed by an evening service beginning at 7:30 p.m., led by Rev. Johnny Foster, pastor of East Cobb Baptist Church. Foster has preached at the Campmeeting three times in previous gatherings.
"There is a real sense of something useful and complete by being able to come back," Foster said. "To be able to share the Scriptures with each other, that's a great joy."
Two services, one in the morning and one in the evening, are scheduled for every day of Marietta Campmeeting. Other traditions, including a watermelon cutting, ice cream social and children's church, are also scheduled for the 10-day revival.
"It's an opportunity to come together, talk and visit. It's like a big family reunion," Lassiter said.
Marietta Campmeeting is open to the public and located at 2300 Roswell Road, across the street from East Cobb United Methodist Church.