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Catawba College Forum Examines 3rd Century of Methodist Camp Meeting

August 22, 2013

Category: Events


Methodist CampOne of the venerable institutions of early American history was the Methodist camp meeting where followers of Wesleyanism came together each summer for an extended period of discipline, revival, and community. Nowhere in the United States has this atavistic activity survived and thrived, other than in the five camp-meeting grounds along the Catawba River in the Carolinas.

Dr. Gary R. Freeze, Catawba Professor of History, will provide a "Jeffersonian analysis" for why this has occurred in this time and place. Freeze has been working on the history of the lower Catawba valley for the past twenty years and has published half a dozen books and several articles on various aspects of the area's heritage. This topic is a summation of work he did a decade ago, facilitated by Duke University Theological Seminary, with a national study group on the future of American Methodism.

Dr. Freeze is a native of Statesville, North Carolina, with AB, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar. While still at Chapel Hill, Dr. Freeze received the Horace Williams Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and since coming to Catawba in 1994, he has been elected Teacher of the Year on four separate occasions. In 2010, he received the Swink award for outstanding classroom teaching at Catawba.  The author of numerous books and articles, Dr. Freeze is the official historian of Catawba County and has completed two award-winning volumes on that county.

Come to the first Catawba College Community Forum of the 2013-1014 academic year on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall for a look into a fascinating piece of North Carolina history. Admission, as always, is free.

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