The Burney Camp Meeting brought three days of blessing to Burney. Seven preachers and numerous Christian Gospel singers and performers came from as far away as Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Los Angeles in the United States, and Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada to participate.
Worship services were held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m, and 7 p.m. on Friday July 22 and Saturday July 23, and at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday July 24. Most of the services were held at the Burney Veterans Hall. On Saturday afternoon, the 2 p.m. worship was held at the Pit River Community Center. Most of the hundreds of attendees were members of the Pit River Tribe, but the event was open to all who wanted to sing, praise, and worship God.
The camp meeting has a long tradition and history in the Hat Creek/Burney area. Initiated by the Hat Creek Full Gospel Church, the revival was held for more than seventy years in the Hat Creek Valley. The Hat Creek Full Gospel church has been a center for community and worship for the Atsugewi in Hat Creek since the 1950’s.
Pastor Woody Elmore accepted responsibly for organizing the event five years ago. For the past three years the meeting has been held at the Burney Veterans Hall. In the meantime, Pastor Elmore was called to minister in North Dakota. He currently lives in Watford City, North Dakota with his wife Lana.
Pastor Elmore said, “We like to use different types of music such as blues and rap to share the Gospel.”
Indeed, he is a gifted guitar player and singer. His wife is also a wonderful singer and preacher who shares in his ministry. To listen to them sing is not just music, it is an opportunity for co-worshippers to feel the presence of the God and the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Elmore is also a spirit filled preacher. At the Sunday 10 a.m. service he shared some testimony about his ministry in North Dakota. He said that the area he ministers in is the same area where the Sun Dance originated. Traditional religion is strong. There hasn’t been a Full Gospel church there for 25 years. Prior to his coming, 11 ministers of various denominations came and left, finding it a difficult place to establish a congregation.
Yet Pastor Elmore persevered, praying a lot. He didn’t preach against the traditional way, but he faithfully shared the gospel. One day one of the elders of the traditional religion came to his service. Afterwards, Elmore asked him how he liked the service.
The Elder replied, “This is really good medicine!”
After his introductory testimony, Pastor Elmore proceeded into his sermon that was entitled, “The effects of a bad attitude.” He preached from Genesis chapter 4, using the story of Cain and Abel to illustrate the importance of giving your best to God, having a humble open, and worshipful attitude toward God and a loving attitude toward others. If one has a bad attitude then “sin crouches at your shoulder, and it’s desire is to master you.”
Just as Cain killed Abel, a bad attitude can kill a person’s marriage, make it difficult to keep employment, and negatively influence one’s children.
There was so much more. In the course of the weekend, seven preachers shared powerful massagers. There was a lot of wonderful music and singing and testimony and people giving themselves to the Lord and affirming their faith.
One of the songs that was sung numerous times was “Let it Rain,” a powerful invocation to the Spirit to pour down on the souls of the people so we could feel God’s presence.
Praise the Lord. Burney was blessed this weekend.