Forrest E. (Dick) Whitener
Camp musician in 1973 and 1996; Camp evangelist in 1998)
I write to express my personal gratitude for all Hortense Wesleyan Camp Meeting has meant to my wife and me over the years. We congratulate all past and present leaders on a job-well-done as 100 years of ministry are celebrated in 2004. God alone knows the precious seed that has been sown there and the rich harvest already reaped... and oh, what is yet to be as this great camp moves into the next 100 years.
There are no more hospitable and genuine people to be found anywhere I've been than the sweet spirited Hortense people. We have always enjoyed the great fellowship and the opportunity to renew friendships and make new ones each time we have returned.
I recall my first time there, the camp got under-way just after some very heavy rains. There were some "extra" snakes around as they sought higher ground. I was flat-out scared out of my gourd, and wouldn't you know it, Bob Cooley and some other terribly mischievous young folk brought a dead snake to my room while I was out and coiled that booger up just under my bed. Die I thought I would for sure when my bare foot sat down on top of that snake as I readied myself for bed. I have never been the same!!!
Having been back just a few days ago, with Rev. Mathis and his dear congregation, I have been reminded afresh of just how important to God's Kingdom work this dear old place Hortense Wesleyan Camp is and has been. I'm sure there will be rejoicing in Heaven for many as we greet dear glorified saints and are told by them what this wonderful place has meant to their spiritual lives.
Please keep on preaching, planning and praying that God will use the camp in a great way. I know of nothing that is more needed today. God bless you and give you precious souls as you meet this 100th year for camp meeting.