THE TENT MINISTRY OF EVERETTE T. WHISNANT AS I REMEMBER
PREACHING UNDER THE TENT EACH NIGHT FOR A MONTH(S)
Evangelism: I don’t know the history of Tent Evangelism.
I need to Google that:(which I did)
I only wish Dad’s experiences in the tent ministry had been recorded or written down. Dad was in Tent Evangelism way before I was born. My brother Don and I grew up with Dad preaching and Mom playing the piano. My understanding of what Dad was doing, was as a youth, who really had little understanding of the ministry. What I remember most was helping get the shavings from the local lumber yard. Dad would get a truck and drive to a lumber yard where they would have shavings from the lumber. I remember getting into the bin with the shavings or chips of wood and shoving them into the truck. We did this for hours and then went to the tent site and shoved them onto the ground. When I was younger Dad would store the canvas tent at our house. Once I recall the tent was stretched out flat over the back yard. I would crawl under the canvas from one end to the other end. My hair was totally green by the time I got out from under the canvas.
You have heard the old phrase "THE OLD SAWDUST TRAIL" TENT MEETINGS. I recall the days of the sawdust tent meetings in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, when I was a boy. We would witness times when hundreds of people would come ...
You can see in this old sixty-year-old photograph the number of poles needed to hold up this old canvas tent. In the aerial photograph you can see how the center pole steel spikes protrude through the bale rings in the canvas. Tents were both fascinating and effective. I can recall trying as a young boy, to hammer a stake down into the ground. And then trying to help put the rope that would hold up the tent up. I am sure I was more trouble than help. I recall also putting chairs up inside the tent. I recall even sleeping with friends inside the Tent.
One of the best experiences I can remember was when Dad and Mom went to Blackstone, Virginia, and Amelia County, Virginia at the Fairgrounds. This was in the early sixties. Dad was pastor in Roanoke, Virginia, and he knew some folks in Amelia County. They asked him to come to the county and preach. So during the week all of us went, and we stayed, as I remember, in a building that was part of a Virginia Mansion. I understand we could have stayed in the Mansion but Dad didn’t want to. Dad would preach all week, then go back to Roanoke on Sunday, and then back to preach the next several weeks in Amelia County. Dad’s tent meetings were never less than a month. Usually at the end of the meetings, there was always a group of people that would want to start a church in the area, and Dad would help them organize a church.
To be continued
However, tent technology has changed.. Most larger, modern tents no longer use only poles and bale rings nor are they constructed of canvas. Larger tents today use "masts" in place of center poles and the ""fabric"" is made of hi-tech vinyl as opposed to canvas. Modern tents are often referred to as "tensile structures".
Proof Read by Charity Whisnant