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Rustic Neon

Posted by
Viewfinder (Bradenton, FL, United States) on 21 February 2008 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Now we switch gears for one shot and jump into Georgia. Like a blast from the past, this rustic "country neon" log sign advertises a venerable old camp meeting church I used to serve in what was once rural backroads Georgia, but is now suburban metro Atlanta.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 1/400 second F/3.2 ISO 50 42 mm

Stunner from Kingston, Jamaica

Nice shot Viewfinder! Did you go camping

21 Feb 2008 5:17am

@Stunner: Lol. I was the pastor there.

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

The place really has a history. What did the area look like when the church was established? Great sharp image.

21 Feb 2008 5:41am

@Michael Skorulski: It was all piney woods and agricultural. Atlanta was not "Atlanta" as we know it today back in 1827, so the rural ways were firmly established over the years. Now that Atlanta is washing over this area and encapsulating all the smaller communities into metro captivity, there is much anxiety among the old line families as to the changes that are rapidly overtaking their beloved home.

Rags from Plano, United States

Cool! What was your experience there?

21 Feb 2008 6:09am

@Rags: Five years there as Senior Pastor. Met lots of interesting people, and learned plenty about pastoring in a historic setting like this.

Mandy from South Africa

I like the look of the sign VF - really gives one a rustic country feeling

21 Feb 2008 6:52am

@Mandy: Going onto the 32 acre site is like going into the country.

Craiger from Vacaville, California, United States

I love those neon signs! They are so energy efficient too! :0) Nice photojournalism!

21 Feb 2008 8:16am

@Craiger: I've done a sepia photo series of some of the interior of the campground. When the well runs dry, I'll dip into the archives and put up a few here.

As for the campground, it covers 32 piney/oak treed acres, but it's not a campground for "camping" in the national park sense. It's for camp meetings, which are like religious revivals. These began happening here back in the 19th century because of a fresh creek that provided water at this site for travellers on horseback and in wagons. They would pitch their tents or later there were cabins built on-site for them to stay in during the week of revival (or camp meeting). Now there are many circa-1920s rustic cabins on the property, as well as a new church building (where church members meet for worship each Sunday). But the camp meeting tradition continues for one week every summer, and people who know about it travel to get there. It's almost like falling into a time warp that week.

Helma from Tehran, Iran

OK ..... interesting shot ! .......... thanks.

21 Feb 2008 9:31am

@Helma: ;-)

vu@granby - Wolfgang Prigge from Granby, QC, Canada

Another nice sign in your series, and an interesting story to go with it!

21 Feb 2008 1:22pm

@vu@granby - Wolfgang Prigge: Thanks, I'm glad you like the image and the story behind it.

Judy from Brooksville-Florida,, United States

Aha!!! Your reply to Stunner answered a question ... are you still shepherding a flock?
I enjoyed your explanation to Craiger also ....... blessings, Judy

21 Feb 2008 1:25pm

@Judy: Yes. In Bradenton.

eddy from Tehran, Iran

agree with craiger

21 Feb 2008 1:39pm

@eddy: Thanks for stopping over.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Very neat find Vf

21 Feb 2008 1:48pm

@Lorraine: Ha-ha! I didn't just find it Lorraine; I worked here for five years.

Jason Kravitz from Brussels, Belgium

As a former recent resident of Atlanta, It's hard to imagine Smyra as a rural area as it is a pretty populated place these days - my how the city sprawls onward and outward.

21 Feb 2008 2:17pm

@Jason Kravitz: One more interesting thing about the name of this church is that it is not located in Smyrna, GA, but Conyers, GA -- which is about 14 miles east along I-20 in Rockdale Co. Civil War buffs might enjoy knowing this also -- that this campground is a place where some of Gen. Sherman's troops allegedly camped as they burned Atlanta and completed their "march to the sea." Artifacts are still occasionally unearthed on the campground from the Civil War period, so there is probably some truth to the story.

tyan from Singapore, Singapore

wow,this has a long history then!I remember when my church started out as a church plant and we were decidin a name for our new church,one of the choices was Smyrna,meaning suffering,if i didn t remember wrongly.Must be quite a nostalgic trip for you:)

21 Feb 2008 2:30pm

@tyan: I spent five years there and had some very interesting experiences. Your translation of "Smyrna" is something I'd never heard before; my understanding is that it got its name from one of the seven churches in Revelation.

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Nice warm sunshine and trees casting shadows.....What we need in Illinois right now. Interesting tidbit that you provided for Craiger, too!

21 Feb 2008 5:10pm

@Steven: Am happy you liked this one Steven.

Chris from South Jersey, United States

This post (and the comments & replies) are just full of interesting information!! Nice to document something that is meaningful to you and also not often seen anymore - I look forward to your pictures of the inside of the camp.

21 Feb 2008 6:13pm

@Chris: Thanks Chris. This may be the last of all Presbyterian churches in the USA to hold camp meetings annually. There is rumor one in Texas does, but no confirmation anywhere that I could find. There are two Methodist campgrounds in the area of Conyers (Smyrna Church) that also hold camp meetings in modern times.

amy from Rocky Mountain House, Canada

Love your title VF!! Very interesting history here, too.

21 Feb 2008 8:03pm

@amy: Always aiming to please... thanks amy.

Ken McCoy from Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL, United States

Quite a contrast to the last few posts - culture shock!

21 Feb 2008 9:54pm

@Ken McCoy: Think so? Just wait until you see tomorrow's post...

Rebecca from Leicester, United Kingdom

Wonderful light. Our home church back in S'pore has just been going through a sermon series on Revelation these past couple of months and it just so happens that my dad delivered the message on the church of Smyrna for that particular Sunday about a fortnite ago. Apologies for the digression, your post today just reminded me of this and also wonderful memories of church and youth camps growing up. This really is a marvellous composition. I especially love the earthy tones and textures.

21 Feb 2008 11:14pm

@Rebecca: How exciting that your dad delivered that message on the church at Smyrna. You can't imagine how happy and delighted I am to find your comment here today. And not just because you put some nice positive things in it. Mostly just because if you're commenting, things must be getting a little less hectic around the house, and maybe less feeling "icky-PG" for you.

danthro from Suburbia, United States

neat shot. lots of movement from horizontal lines, from the sign to the shadows to the barrier on the side of the road. it's amazing how fast rural areas are turning suburban and urban.

22 Feb 2008 12:18am

Camiller from Lisboa, Portugal

Left the memories and adress plaques.
Unfortunately it is the price of progress.

22 Feb 2008 12:33am

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2
1/400 second
ISO 50
42 mm