Special to The Hays Daily News

HILL CITY -- The Northwest District of the Church of God will celebrate this summer 100 years of camp meetings.

The first camp meeting was in Beecher's Grove, a farm in Graham County, south of Bogue, in 1908 and every year following until 1914. The camp meeting began rotating in 1915 among the Almena, Norton and Palco churches.

The camp meeting was always in August and lasted for 10 days. There were services during the day and every evening. People came in teams and wagons in the early days with enough bedding, clothing and cooking supplies for a 10-day stay.

These camp meetings soon became the highlight of the year for hundreds of Church of God patrons. Many years later, a tabernacle, kitchen and dinning area, restrooms and showers, and a camping area were built in Hill City where the camp meetings are now conducted.

The Northwest District of the Church of God comprises churches in Norton, WaKeeney, Lenora, Palco, Phillipsburg and Hill City. This year's camp meeting will feature Don and Paula Riley as the speakers. Praise and worship leaders are Delores Brown and John Helbling.

Leading the children's church is Linda Nowell, and leading the youth is Leslie Shewey. A nursery is provided for the evening services.

The dates of camp meeting this year are June 4 through 8. For more information or a copy of the camp meeting schedule, call any of the churches or (866) 599-4955.