Love, marriage begin at Rock Spring Camp Meeting
by Staff Writer
by Erin Odom
When Mary McCall met George McAlister at the Rock Spring Camp Meeting in August 1947, she thought he was “just a camp meeting boyfriend.”
“That year, I was attending with a group of girls, and George was tenting about two to three tents above us,” she said.
“He just came down there and sat all the time, and we started talking and went to every service together. I thought I would never see him again, really.”
But when George started driving down to Cornelius from his home in Iredell County, the two began dating. They married six months later – on Valentine’s Day in 1948.
The 84-year-olds still spend every summer at the Denver camp meeting where they met. Their four children grew up there, just like many others in the Lake Norman area, they said.
The August Methodist meetings have been a Denver tradition for generations, Mary explained.
Even when her family moved to Virginia for a few years when she was a child, they would still come back to Denver every August to “tent” at the camp meeting, Mary said.
“You go for fellowship, but the main purpose is the religious services,” she said. “Going to church is my favorite part.”
The McAlisters said they have known other couples who met at the camp meeting, most of whom have passed away.
Younger generations continue to find love at the camp meeting.
Denver residents Jason McIntosh and Misty Lail not only met at the camp meeting – they married there at the arbor in June 2010.
The two met at the 2007 camp meeting when Misty attended with a friend. Jason had been attending with his family his entire life. Their tents were right beside each other.
“We pretty much started dating right away,” Jason said. “I invited her to come to church out there, and she joined the church. Then it all started and only got better from there.”