By Carl Stagner
For one hundred years, Zion’s Hill at West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, has been the location of a camp meeting that has made an indelible mark on thousands of Church of God men and women. The National Association, which began in 1916 as a ministry largely focused on many African Americans who, at the time, were relocating northward from southern states. Driven to live out the unity that the Church of God preached, the National Association continued to grow in number and influence on the movement. From the earliest days, Zion’s Hill has welcomed all people, regardless of ethnicity or background, onto these hallowed grounds. The August 7–14 event is expected to draw record crowds and feature some of the finest preaching and worship in the Church of God. To celebrate their centennial, several special experiences and artistic components are being added to the schedule.
The Heritage House Museum and Library will chronicle the ongoing story God has written on the hearts of countless lives forever changed at Zion’s Hill. Before each worship service, talented actors will portray scenes that will bring to life different points along the timeline of the National Association’s ministry. Fashions and artifacts particular to certain decades will transport guests through time. Encapsulating the rich heritage of music at Zion’s Hill down through the years, singers from across the country will come together to record a live CD. Like every year, this year’s camp meeting will also feature top-notch seminars and conferences, breakout sessions for youth, and hours of heavenly fellowship among the saints.
“We stand on the shoulders of giants who carved out for us a unique ministry in the life of the church to be a people who practice holiness and physical unity in the body,” Charles Myricks Jr. of the National Association explains. “We walk in step with their heart, which we believe is the heart of God for the Church of God. The church in the 21st century is in desperate need of being connected and being reminded that holiness is the call God placed on us all.”
The theme of the Centennial Camp Meeting is “Serving God’s Purpose Through Generations” and fittingly describes the continuing reach of God through the National Association. Many of those who have sacrificed to strengthen the ministry will be honored by various means at the camp meeting, including longtime ministers and those newly ordained.
It’s one thing to talk about Zion’s Hill; it’s another to experience it for yourself. Charles “Chuck” Myricks explains it’s not too late to register. You can even register at-the-door. You also don’t have to have prior engagement with the National Association. “This is a place where anyone can come to feel the presence of the Lord, the love of brothers and sisters in Christ, and hear the word of God preached in unparalleled power,” he insists. “It is truly a tremendous gathering of believers, and all are welcome. You will be blessed.”
In a humorous, yet serious quip, Myricks adds—“The food alone is worth the trip!”