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Organizers putting finishing touches on SO Camp Meeting

As many as 2,000 people may pack several 80-foot wide and 180-foot long tents four miles north of Ironton.

Even if it rains, the show will go on.

The Pedro-based Evangelistic Outreach Ministries' annual

Southern Ohio Camp Meeting will be Sept. 8-12 along State Route 93 near Woodland Chapel Church in the Kelley's Bridge area.

National gospel acts such as The Singing Cookes, The Duncans, The Jody Brown Indian Family, The Singing Ledbetters and The Primitives will perform and Dr. Calvin Evans, ministry founder, will be the event's evangelist. The services begin at 7 p.m. each night, and admission is free.

"This is a dream that God has helped come true," Dr. Calvin Ray Evans, president and director of Evangelistic Outreach ministries, said.

Evangelistic Outreach Ministries was founded by the camp meeting's evangelist and Calvin Ray Evans' father, who preached his first sermon in May 1956. The ministry reaches people across the United States as well as people in 37 countries.

While the majority of those who attend the camp meeting are from the Tri-State, Evans said some come from as far away as Florida, Washington state and Canada. The services are also non-denominational and a number of different churches in the Tri-State are involved with the meeting.

"It's wonderful, and that's why it's so special," Evans said regarding the different denominations coming together. "It's wonderful when other churches can unite together, especially in such a cooperative way."

This will be the 11th year for the camp meeting, and the lowest the attendancehas ever been is 600, Evans said. The attendance has been as high as 2,000, causing the need for more tents to be set up.

"That's a good problem to have," Evans said.

Evans also said the camp meeting has been blessed to have a limited number of rainy services. Those attending will stay dry, he said, because of the tents.