Hollow Rock kicks off 195th year Thursday

The 195th-annual interdenominational holiness camp meeting of Hollow Rock located at 1958 co. Hwy. 51, Toronto, begins its 10-day event Thursday with the Rick Webb family leading the opening night concert at 7:30 p.m.

The camp continues through July 28 with three services held daily at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday services are at 6 p.m.

Programs also are available for children in pre-school through sixth grade and youth grades seven to 12.

The evangelists for Hollow Rock are Mark Weeter, Norm Wilson, the Rev. Tony Salvatori, Charles Lake, the Rev. Steve Schellin, the Rev. Bert Jones and the Rev. Brad Martin with music by Jay and Amber Wisler, Beth Smith and Jeff Capehart.

Hollow Rock is America’s oldest interdenominational holiness camp located on 25 acres with more than 100 cottages, dorms and space for trailers and hookups.

It has a cafeteria-style dining hall with meals available at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. It has main, youth and children’s tabernacles, a snack stand and grocery store and a book store featuring books, Bibles and music.

The camp’s roots date back to 1818, with the first camp meeting believed to have been held then by the Rev. J.M. Bray, who was a pastor of the Sugar Grove Methodist Episcopal Church.

It was the site where Methodists held district meetings for as many as 50 years prior to that.

The grounds originally constituted a farm owned by the Taylor family.

The Hollow Rock Camp Meeting Association leased the property for many years under an arrangement that allowed the land to be pastured at other times of the year.

It also required the camp secretary to provide 30 days’ notice prior to the camp meeting so that grazing stock could be removed. The land was purchased in 1895.

The camp’s beginnings and development are chronicled in the history room on the grounds, which offers pictures, articles and memorabilia.

There also has been a recent book published by Eleanor L. Smith of Canal Winchester, Ohio. It’s available online and at the bookstore at the campgrounds.

The camp has had six presidents in its history with Mel Truex having served since 1977.

On Hollow Rock’s website, Truex writes: “We will soon enter another milestone in the history of Hollow Rock Camp.

“It is year 195 for our campus to bloom with the praises of God’s people. There is an unusual mystic that continues to draw Christians and non-Christians to the ministry of the Holy Spirit as he comes to enable us to find Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives.

“I don’t know of a better place to discover the real Jesus, to learn of his grace, to enter the holy union of sanctification, to find healing for broken relationships and be refueled for service in your local church. It is also a place for God to call us into various venues of taking the gospel to the ends of the Earth.”

For information on Hollow Rock, visit the website at www.hollowrock.org.