I searched the Internet for stories and articles about George Havens and/or Cowboy Camp Meeting. I’m finding we have to pay to access old newspapers. Then I/we have to pay Adobe for a downloadable PDF format. Well, as the chorus goes: “We’ll not be defeated!” I was able to print the newspaper articles and I copied them here.
Abilene Reporter-News, Fri. Jun. 18, 1976, page 30
Cowboy Camp Meeting Gets Under Way Friday
Santa Anna – The 10th annual Cowboy Camp Meeting organized by “little George” Havens and his wife Lucy begins Friday at Flying H Acres between here and Coleman.
About 400 persons attended the week-long event last year and Havens expects as many again this time.
The meeting features chuck wagon suppers and 8 p.m. daily religious gatherings through June 27.
“This year, to celebrate our nation’s Bicentennial and Coleman’s centennial, there will be special exhibits of crafts and skills once utilized by practically every pioneer or frontier home in early America,” Havens said. “We plan to have a display or exhibit of the use of the spinning wheel, of quilt-making, churning and butter-making, bread-making, tortilla-making, horse shoeing and the actual building of a log cabin.”
Flying H Acres is located between Santa Anna and Coleman alongside U.S. 84 on the Old Western Cattle Trail which cattlemen used to drive herds from South Texas to Dodge City, Kansas.
“Just what kind of people were the cowboys of the Old West?” Havens asks in a meeting announcement.
“According to the Hollywood version, they were men who rolled their smokes from a Bull Durham sack, drank from the whiskey bottle, cursed at the drop of a 10-gallon hat and came to town every Saturday night to shoot up things.
“True, there were some cowboys who were like this. But there were also those who were God-fearing men. The prairie was their sanctuary, the stars at night were their object lessons that God is still in his heaven, and they sang, and picked such songs as ‘Cowboy’s Lament’ or ‘The Great Roundup in the Sky’.”
I (Lorraine) added the link to the song “Cowboy’s Lament.” I searched the Internet but couldn’t find “The Great Roundup in the Sky”; I wonder if George meant “The Last Roundup.”
Brownwood Bulletin, Fri. Jun 17, 1977, page 2
Santa Anna – Dr. Marvin Sheffield of Brownwood will be one of the guests speakers at Little George Havens’ Cowboy Camp Meeting which gets underway today.
The 11th annual Camp Meeting will be held at Havens’ Flying H Acres on U.S. 84 between Santa Anna and Coleman.
About 15 covered wagons will be drawn up around the huge gospel tent where a number of evangelists and preachers teach and preach the old-time Gospel. Youngsters who are attending the camp meeting, which continues through Sunday, June 26, will sleep overnight in the wagons.
Twice daily, at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. visitors from Texas and surrounding states will hear the Gospel preached by such speakers as Rev. Buck Hatfield of Snyder, Rev. Bob Muncy of Dalsy, Okla., Dr. Sheffield and Havens, founder and director of the Camp Meeting, Bobby and Margie McMeens will direct the musical program. The boys choir from the Christian Corral Boys’ Ranch will also participate.
After each evening’s services, campers and all others who may be interested gather around the campfire to sing and play their musical instruments.
Chuck wagon suppers will be served to the public at 6 p.m. the two Saturdays of the meeting. The camp will furnish meat, sourdough biscuits, coffee and tea. Those who come from nearby areas are asked to bring vegetables, salads or dessert.
Havens, who spent about 10 years in Hollywood as an actor and stunt man in Western films, has recreated the atmosphere of the old-time Camp Meetings of the early days of the frontier that are believed to have started in 1800.
The public is invited to attend the meetings.
I’ll add more… as I find them.