skip to Main Content

Chesapeake Conference Holds First In-Person ‘Gathering’ Since 2019

  • News

Derek Morris, president of Hope Channel, spoke on the theme “Occupy Till He Comes.”

In an uplifting week marked by faith, fellowship, and rejuvenation, the Chesapeake Conference held its first in-person camp meeting since 2019. The camp meeting, entitled “The Gathering: Occupy Till He Comes,” took place from June 13-17 at Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland, and featured a week-long series of inspirational messages, seminars, and communal activities.

The meeting drew members from all over the conference, eager to participate after years of virtual meetings. The week’s featured speaker, Derek Morris, president of Hope Channel International, inspired attendees with passionate sermons on how believers should invest their time while awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. Topics ranged from proclaiming the good news and casting out demons, to healing the sick. 

“How wonderful it was to be back together again, in person, at The Gathering to fellowship, study, pray and play together,” said Jerry Lutz, Chesapeake Conference president. “And what a blessing to hear Elder Derek Morris so beautifully lead worshippers to a clear understanding of what it means to “occupy” until Jesus comes. His timely messages we were both inspiring and insightful.”

One notable event was an intimate anointing service held early Sabbath morning. Despite beginning at 7:00 a.m., approximately 50 people participated in the spiritual ceremony seeking physical, emotional, or spiritual healing.

Each day was embellished with beautiful musical arrangements performed by soprano Sheri Jackson and pianist Paul Byssainthe, Jr. Every morning began with Family Worship, featuring dynamic messages on the life of Moses, delivered by Cesar Gonzalez, pastor of the Middletown Valley and Catoctin View churches.

Attendees also engaged in a series of seminars on diverse subjects such as archaeology, personal evangelism, and prayer. New for this year’s camp meeting was a health seminar, featuring live cooking demonstrations, which received a warm reception from attendees.

The younger participants were not left out, with youth and kids divisions providing engaging programming throughout the week. Activities ranged from nightly worship messages to games and exciting field trips, including rock wall climbing, inflatables, and bowling.

This year also marked the return of the in-person Spanish camp meeting held the weekend before from June 9-11. The three-day event featured seminars on stewardship from Rudy Salazar, associate director for Stewardship Ministries at the North American Division, and sermons from Pastor Roger Alvarez.

Reflecting on the successful return of camp meeting, Andre Hastick, Chesapeake Conference executive secretary and Camp Meeting coordinator, said, “After four years of holding The Gathering virtually, it was a blessing to see members from all over the conference enthusiastically return to an in-person camp meeting experience.” 

He added: “The feedback received from attendees had one main theme: truly the Lord was present with us the entire week. From seminars to division programming, and worship services to times of fellowship, there was a spiritual tone that permeated all of our camp meeting activities. We are so thankful to the Lord for His many blessings!”

Back To Top