Header image  
line decor
line decor


A Place to Worship
African American Camp Meetings in the Carolinas

Minuette Floyd
Foreword by Terry K. Hunter
Introduction by Tom Stanley

A chronicle of the historically rich spiritual gatherings so vital to rural African American life

Camp meetings—also called revivals—originated with circuit-riding Methodist preachers who gathered congregations in open fields and town squares. However, the sermons had messages that were not always welcomed by mainstream Protestant churches in the colonial and antebellum South. With the help of white itinerant preachers, enslaved African Americans organized their own camp meetings in conjunction with the white revivals. These celebratory events were predominantly spiritual, with preaching, worship, and communion, but also provided opportunities for family reunions. After the Civil War, independent African American congregations built on this antebellum heritage by establishing permanent camps that continue to welcome meetings today.

In A Place to Worship, Minuette Floyd shares an intimate portrait of the culture, traditions, and long history of the camp meeting as one of the most vital institutions in the lives of rural African Americans in North and South Carolina. As a child Floyd attended camp meetings each year in North Carolina, and she renewed her interest in them as an adult. For the past eighteen years she has travelled to campgrounds throughout the Carolinas, documenting the annual tradition through photographs and interviews. Floyd has sought to record not only a visual record of the places and practices of each, but also the rich and inspiring stories of the people who make them thrive.

Terry K. Hunter, the executive director of the Fine Arts Cultural Enrichment Teaching Studios, provides a foreword, and Tom Stanley, Department of Fine Arts chair emeritus at Winthrop University, offers an introduction.

Minuette Floyd is a professor of art education and director of the Young Artist’s Workshop at the University of South Carolina School of Visual Art and Design.

"In conjunction with stunning photographs that capture a glimpse into a black religious and social experience, Floyd stylistically writes in a way that transports readers to the outskirts of Catawba County under an arbor. From services to foodways, the tradition of preaching, and the intricacies of the black family structure, Floyd's photographs and anecdotes provide a more intimate look into African American Christian life through camp meetings."—North Carolina Historical Review (Rebecca M. Byrd, University of North Carolina at Charlotte)




9 x 10
144 pages
84 b&w illus.
ISBN 978-1-61117-887-6
Hardcover, $49.99s

ISBN 978-1-61117-888-3
Paperback, $26.99t

ISBN 978-1-61117-889-0
Ebook, $26.99

    Copyright ©2019 The University of South Carolina Press